Monday, April 30, 2012

Egyptian lawyer in Saudi jail for criticizing king

Ahram Online

Tuesday 24 Apr 2012
Foreign ministry spokesman reveals that the Egyptian ambassador to Saudi Arabia has received orders to press for the release of an Egyptian lawyer sentenced to 20 lashes for 'defaming' the Saudi king

Egypt's foreign ministry, according to spokesman Amr Rushdy, is following up with authorities in Saudi Arabia on the case of the Egyptian lawyer, Ahmed El-Gizawy, who is currently in Saudi custody facing one year in prison and 20 lashes.

"The foreign minister has ordered the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh and the consulate in Jeddah to follow up on the issue and free El-Gizawy," said Rushdy.

According to the foreign ministry spokesman, Egypt's foreign minister is following the issue from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he is attending an emergency meeting on a possible war between Sudan and South Sudan.

Moreover, the Egyptian ambassador to Saudi Arabia has postponed his annual vacation to stay in Saudi Arabia to follow the issue.

Political activists were outraged as there was no official response on the issue until early Tuesday.
The Egyptian lawyer was sentenced in absentia for "defaming the [Saudi] king," King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

El-Gizawy was arrested as he entered Saudi territory on 17 April for an omra (Islamic ritualp) pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

The lawyer faced trouble with the law in the oil-rich kingdom after filing a suit in the South Cairo Court against King Abdullah on behalf of Egyptians detained in Saudi Arabia prisons without any court rulings.

El-Gizawy is to receive the 20 lashings on Friday.

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