Mona el-Mazbouh’s infamous ten-minute rant about the conditions she endured in Egypt set the country on fire.
After going public with her less-than-favourable experiences in Egypt by releasing a 10-minute rant video on Facebook, Lebanese tourist Mona el-Mazbouh has been sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment (down from 11) by the Egyptian Misdemeanour Court, in addition to an EGP 10,700 fine. The charge being that she “defamed” Egypt and spread false rumours “that aim to undermine society and attack religions,” according to her lawyer, Emad Kamal.
The 24-year-old tourist went off on everything from apparently terrible Uber service, to sexual harassment, to poor restaurant service and just laying down all manner of profanity on Egyptians themselves. The contents of the video are exceptionally profane, so viewer discretion is advised.
Right before being taken into custody, she had released another video in which she’d try to atone for what she’d said. She claimed that her accent made it hard for Egyptians to understand her, and that she wasn’t paid to do anything.
The attorney-general referred El-Mazbouh to a speedy criminal trial, where she was found guilty of spreading harmful rumours, attacking religion, public indecency and slander – in accordance with Egyptian penal code articles 302 to 308. The case will be revisited by an appeal court on July 29, according to her lawyer, who showed optimism for the future of the case. “Of course, God willing, the verdict will change. With all due respect to the judiciary, this is a severe ruling. It is in the context of the law, but the court was applying the maximum penalty,” he said.
Main image from IMLebanon.