Egyptian court sends journalists to jail

Dec. 14, 2011 at 7:42 AM

CAIRO, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A court in Egypt sentenced two female journalists to a month in jail for writing a 2009 article that invaded the privacy of a sheik, their lawyer said.

Sally Hasan and Fatima al-Zahraa Mohamed of al-Fagr newspaper were sued by Youssef al-Badry for writing about a spiritual session he held at his house, Bikyamasr.com reported Wednesday.

Badry originally was awarded monetary damages when he sued the two women but was not satisfied with the outcome and appealed.

On appeal, the court dropped the fine and instead ordered each of the women to spend a month in prison. They were also ordered not to write anything for the next three years.

Press advocates criticized the punishment.

"It is unfortunate for a journalist to be punished for doing their work," the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said.

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