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Egyptian rights researcher sentenced to three years in prison

Egyptian researcher Patrick Zaki   -  
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MOHAMED EL-RAAI/AFP or licensors


A court in Egypt has sentenced rights researcher Patrick Zaki to three years in prison for "spreading false news".

Previously, Zaki spent 22 months in pre-trial detention until December 2021 over an article he wrote on discrimination against Coptic Christians.

The drawn-out case triggered international condemnation, particularly in Italy where he had been studying at Bologna University when he was arrested in 2020.

Following Zaki's condemnation, three liberal opposition figures immediately announced that they were withdrawing from the national dialogue, launched at the beginning of May by the government, less than one year before presidential elections.

Copts are the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, accounting for 10-15% of the 105 million Egyptians.

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