Egyptian could have sacrificed the lawyer, for foreign policy purposes

National Post | News

CAIRO — An Egyptian human rights lawyer was convicted Tuesday by a Saudi court for smuggling drugs into the kingdom and sentenced to five years in prison and 300 lashes, Egypt’s state news agency reported.

The case of Ahmed el-Gezawi caused an outcry in Egypt where his relatives and human rights groups claimed he was detained for allegedly insulting the kingdom’s monarch.

Saudi authorities denied their claims and said he was found at Jiddah’s airport with more than 20,000 anti-anxiety pills hidden inside his luggage.

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Supporters and human rights groups claimed he confessed to the smuggling charges under duress.

The agency said the Saudi court on Tuesday also convicted another Egyptian, who traveled to the kingdom with el-Gezawi, to six years and 400 lashes.

Saudi prosecutors had requested the death penalty during an initial hearing. Saudi judicial sources said because el-Gezawi was not sentenced to death — that…

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