Egypt: Blogger gets three years in jail plus hard labour

An Egyptian blogger has been sentenced to three years in jail with hard labour for claiming on national television 30 per cent of wives would cheat on their husbands if they had the chance.

Sentenced under a 'spreading false news' charge, the court in Egypt said Taymour el-Sobki's comments would harm public peace and damage the public interest.

El-Sobki faced a backlash from other TV talk show hosts and civilians who filed complaints to public prosecutors accusing him of insulting Egyptian women.

Public prosecutors, who have the right to vet such complaints and to choose which ones to pursue, charged el-Sobki and took him to court on these grounds.

El-Sobki had stated: 'Many women cheat on their husbands. I can say that 30 percent of women are ready to be deviant'.

In particular, he claimed, women in the southern cities of 'Asyut, Minya, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan'.

El-Sobki, whose Facebook page called 'Diaries of a Suffering Husband' has more than one million followers, added: 'Many women are involved in extramarital affairs while their husbands are abroad.'

His comments included the suggestion that arranged marriages in traditional southern Egypt exacerbated the problem of infidelity because women ended up with men they didn't know.

After the claim a masked man from the region appeared in a video carried on YouTube armed with an assault rifle, and issued a death threat against El-Sobki.

However, the court's decision has been condemned by human rights groups.

'We can criticize or reject the comments he made, but he did not commit a crime,' said prominent rights lawyer Gamal Eid.

Under President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, authorities have waged crackdowns against Islamists, then left-wing activists and finally against broader dissent. But lately, many activists say harassment and threats have broadened even to people with no connection to politics or activism.

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