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Christian human rights defender jailed after 'spreading fake news' accusations

by Marcus Jones
Patrick Zaki.JPG - Banner image

There is a call for an Egyptian Christian human rights defender to be given a pardon after being jailed for allegedly "spreading fake news".

Patrick George Zaki was sentenced to three years in prison this week by an Emergency State Security Court in Al Mansoura in the north of Egypt.

Zaki was arrested in 2020 and eventually charged following the publication of an article he wrote entitled ‘Displacement, killing and oppression: the outcomes of a week of the daily life of Egyptian Copts’ in which he described his life as an Egyptian Christian.

Sentences given by the Emergency Court cannot be appealed but need to be ratified by Egypt's president, who can choose to offer a pardon.

That's something religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling for.

CSW’s founder and president Mervyn Thomas said: "It is deeply disappointing that Mr Zaki has been sentenced on unfounded charges by an Emergency State Security Court, where verdicts cannot be appealed.

"CSW urges President Sisi to use his authority within the Emergency Court system to pardon Mr Zaki, and we continue to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained on similarly excessive charges for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression."

Coptic Christians make up around ten percent of Egypt's population but often face persecution because of their faith in the predominantly Muslim nation.

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