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Abdelmoneim Aboul Fotouh, Egypt's Ex-presidential Canditate Sentenced To Prison For 15 Years

According to judiciary sources, former presidential contender Abdelmoneim Aboul Fotouh was sentenced to 15 years in prison for "spreading fake news" and "incitement against state institutions" by an Egyptian emergency court.

Aboul Fotouh has been detained since 2018, and his trial began in November, despite Egyptian law limiting pretrial confinement to two years. There is no way to overturn the decision.

On Sunday, he was sentenced together with 24 others, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he had defected years earlier.

Mahmoud Ezzat, the Brotherhood's previous top guide, was also given a 15-year term, despite his already serving numerous life sentences on unrelated counts.

The deputy head of Aboul Fotouh's Strong Egypt Party, Mohamed al-Qassas, was convicted to ten years in prison, while the other defendants received sentences ranging from ten years to life in prison.

Khaled Ali, a major opposition politician and previous presidential contender presented what he claimed was solid proof of Aboul Fotouh's innocence last month.

In his defense, episodes of a TV series aired throughout Ramadan, using real-life footage of Aboul Fotouh condemning the Brotherhood, filmed by state intelligence without his knowledge.

The accused had been "subjected to a litany of violations, including torture," according to Amnesty International, which described the trial as "grossly unfair and politically motivated."

Aboul Fotouh, 70, had been denied medical attention for years, according to the rights group.

Aboul Fotouh was one of a handful of candidates who ran unsuccessfully in the 2012 elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi was elected president.

Morsi's divisive administration only lasted a year when he was deposed by then-defense minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in July 2013, following widespread protests.

Following the declaration of the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, hundreds of its members and sympathizers were detained in a subsequent crackdown.

Aboul Fotouh was detained in 2018 after signing a petition calling for a boycott of Egypt's presidential election, in which Sisi was re-elected with a landslide 97 percent of the vote.

The former candidate, who was once a major member of the Muslim Brotherhood, had supported large protests against Islamists before becoming a critic of Sisi and his subsequent crackdown on dissent.

He was fired from the Muslim Brotherhood's leadership in 2009 and has denied any further ties to the party.

Since his arrest and inclusion on the state's terror list for "leading a terrorist organization," Aboul Fotouh's assets have been frozen.

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