A court in Egypt has sentenced various prominent political figures in Egypt to lengthy jail terms for an alleged coup and spreading misinformation. Among them is former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh of the ‘Strong Egypt’ party. Also, various prominent figures of the banned Muslim Brotherhood were imprisoned.
Lengthy prison sentences
Abdel Fotouh, seventy years old, received fifteen years in prison. The deputy head of his party, Mohamed al-Qassas was sentenced to ten years. Abdel Fotouh suffers from various medical issues. He is a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, who was ousted from the party after running in Egypt’s Presidential elections under his own ticket. In 2018, Abdel Fotouh and al-Qassas were detained for criticizing Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Since 2013, when a dictatorial junta-style administration took over in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is completely banned. The organization has an enormous influence in Egyptian society, and was also the winner of the first post-Arab spring elections in 2012. After mass protests in 2013 against Muslim Brotherhood, its elected President Mohamed Mursi was toppled – he died in 2019 after collapsing in prison under suspicious circumstances. Many other prominent figures of the party are serving multiple life sentences on a variety of charges.
Inflation, repression, protesting?
For now, the Egyptian leadership holds on to power with extreme forms of repression towards both pro-democratic and islamist forces in the country. Under al-Sisi, the country has enjoyed some relative forms of economic stability. However, due to the Ukraine war, basic commodities will be subject to huge price inflation. In 2011, this has shown to be potential trigger for massive protests in the country. While al-Sisi keeps pouring governmental funds into megalomanic megaprojects such as the New Administrative Capital, the chances for new forms of public outrage will increase for the time to come.