Egypt Watch

Egyptian-American human rights defender Naglaa Mokhtar sentenced to life imprisonment

An Egyptian court has sentenced the Egyptian-American human rights defender and detainee Naglaa Mokhtar to life imprisonment.

Naglaa Mokhtar Younis Mohamed Azzab Morgan, the wife of Los Angeles Businessman, David Lee Morgan, is a co-founder of Eye Witness Human Rights Activists and International Law. She is a mother of eight young children. She has been banned from receiving visitors since the beginning of her arrest until now.

The Egyptian security forces arrested Naglaa Mukhtar on August 18, 2018, from Cairo Airport while she was on her way to perform Hajj, and she was subjected to enforced disappearance for 11 days. Naglaa appeared after the enforced disappearance at the State Security Prosecution on August 29, 2018, to be investigated in the case.

They seized her passport without an arrest warrant of any sort or a judge’s order. “Egyptian Immigration Officers cancelled our flight on Nile Airline for no apparent reason, I believe, other than to harass my wife because we are human right activists,” said her husband, David Lee Morgan.

The Egyptian authorities accused Naglaa of establishing an ISIS-affiliated cell. At the same time, the regime said that she was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Activists saw this discrepancy as evidence that it was yet another fabricated case. Shehab Centre for Human Rights said that the detainee Naglaa Mukhtar Younes, who is being held in pretrial detention in Al-Qanater prison, has submitted a request to officially renounce her Egyptian nationality since 2019.

Naglaa has requested that her citizenship be waived through her lawyer in the United States and demanded that she be deported to the United States as she has American citizenship. Despite this request, the authorities passed this shocking verdict against her.

Many Human Rights activists considered that the life sentence imposed on a woman in a political case is traumatic. It is a continuation of the abuse of women who oppose Al-Sisi’s regime. The verdict was issued by the Cairo Criminal Court headed by Judge Mohamed El-Sherbiny in Case No. 1327 of 2018: Supreme State Security. El-Sherbiny, head of the Fifth Department of Terrorism at the Cairo Criminal Court, is known for his harsh sentences against opponents of the Egyptian regime. The judge himself sentenced many political opponents to death and life sentences and sentenced the human rights defender, Bahey El-Din Hassan, to 15 years, for insulting the judiciary.