On Saturday (July 7th), an Egyptian court sentenced Lebanese citizen Mona Mazbouh to eight years in prison. Ms Mazbouh was arrested in May for “deliberately broadcasting false rumours with the aim of undermining society and attacking religions” after she had posted a video of herself on social media, lashing out after being sexually harassed(1).
Ms Mazbouh’s arrest and disproportionate sentencing comes amid an ongoing crackdown on (online) activists, human rights defenders and bloggers.
1. Is the HR/VP aware of Ms Mazbouh’s case and are there any other cases that she is aware of in which individuals, including EU nationals, have been arrested and/or sentenced because of their social media posts in Egypt?
2. Does the HR/VP agree that EU nationals travelling to Egypt this summer should be made aware of the risks posed by posting about Egypt on social media and will the EU delegation in Egypt issue a recommendation to the delegations of the member states to include the use of social media and its possible consequences in their travel advice for Egypt?
3. Will the EU delegations in third countries take a leading role and coordinate with the delegations of the member states to ensure that the use of digital products and services is included, where appropriate, in the travel advice provided for third countries?