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Father of jailed Lebanese tourist in Egypt says 'no official effort' to free daughter Open in fullscreen

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Father of jailed Lebanese tourist in Egypt says 'no official effort' to free daughter

Mazbouh was initially handed down 11 years but the sentence was later reduced [Twitter]

Date of publication: 10 July, 2018

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The father of Lebanese tourist jailed in Cairo for insulting Egyptians in an online video has slammed Beirut's 'silence' regarding her case.

The father of Lebanese tourist jailed in Cairo for insulting Egyptians in an online rant has slammed the "silence" from authorities and human rights groups regarding the case.

Ali al-Mazbouh told The New Arab's Arabic-language service on Monday that Lebanese authorities have failed to take action to secure the release of his 24-year-old daughter Mona.

She was sentenced to eight years in prison on Saturday over insulting Egyptians in a profanity-laced video she posted online after she had been sexually harassed while on holiday in Cairo.

"Mona's mother met with the Egyptian consul in Lebanon, Wael al-Sisi, and apologised. He reassured us that it was 'just a video'," Mazbouh said.

He said that Lebanese authorities have failed to take action to free his daughter despite the family's efforts.

"The Lebanese embassy in Egypt told us that they did not have the power to appoint a lawyer to defend Mona. It is shocking that no human rights organisations have issued statements condemning her imprisonment and there have been no official efforts to secure her release," he said.

He said he doesn't have the money to travel to Egypt and "stand by" his daughter.

"She travelled to Egypt at the start of Ramadan to spend the holy fasting month there and was sexually harassed - something she is completely opposed to - which is why she made the video," he added.

Mazbouh was initially handed down 11 years but the sentence was later reduced to eight.

In the offending video, she called Egyptians the "dirtiest people on earth" and a "country of pimps, prostitutes and beggars".

Mazbouh later posted an apology video, said: "I definitely didn't mean to offend all Egyptians". She was arrested in May before departing from Cairo.

Human Rights Watch researcher Amr Magdi condemned Mona's imprisonment in a statement to The New Arab's Arabic-language service.

"Once again, this is the picture of a hysterical military police state backed by a highly politicised judiciary, all of whom claim to represent morality," Magdi said.

"They do not hesitate to imprison innocent people because of freedom of expression under the pretext of protecting morality," he added.

Lebanese social media users have called on their government to petition Egyptian authorities to release Mona.

In May, Egyptian police detained an activist after she posted a video online criticising the government's failure to address widespread sexual harassment in the country.

According to a 2013 report by the UN, 99.3 percent of women in Egypt have experienced sexual harassment.

Egyptian authorities regularly detain people who publicly criticise the government.

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