The North Cairo Military Criminal Court sentenced journalist and researcher Ismail Alexandrani to 10 years in prison, according to lawyer Tarek Abdel Aal.
Military prosecution charged Alexandrani with obtaining and publishing military secrets, joining a banned organization and publishing false news abroad in Case 18/2018, which also includes a second defendant named Waleed Muharib. In addition to these charges, Muharib was charged with illegally obtaining funds from abroad and was also issued a 10-year prison sentence, according to Abdel Aal.
The lawyer noted that the prosecution did not present any evidence against Alexandrani regarding his membership of a banned organization and also did not clarify the nature of the secret information he is accused of publicizing.
The two defendants now await the ratification of this verdict from the military commander of the jurisdiction in which the ruling was issued before they are able to appeal the verdict in a military appeals court.
Alexandrani is a freelance journalist and researcher who specializes in issues related to Islamist groups and Sinai, and has been published in various Egyptian and Arabic-language publications.
This verdict comes after Alexandani spent over two and a half years in pretrial detention. He was arrested on November 29, 2015, at Hurghada Airport, as he returned from Berlin, Germany after participating in a conference. His detention was based on an arrest warrant issued in May 2015, lawyer Khaled Ali told media outlets at the time.
In December 2017, the Supreme State Security Prosecution referred Alexandrani’s case to the military prosecutor, after he had spent more than two years in pretrial detention.
Alexandrani’s arrest has been decried by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Amnesty International and several other rights groups, who argue Alexandrani is being targeted for his criticism of the authorities in his academic and journalistic work.