Egyptian actor critical of president says court sentenced him to 8 years
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Egyptian actor critical of president says court sentenced him to 8 years

Amr Waked, who lives in Spain, convicted in absentia of ‘disseminating false news and insulting state institutions,’ but says he doesn’t know over what

Egyptian actor Amr Waked arrives on the red carpet during the first International El Gouna Film Festival, in the Red Sea resort of el-Gouna, Egypt, September 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)
Egyptian actor Amr Waked arrives on the red carpet during the first International El Gouna Film Festival, in the Red Sea resort of el-Gouna, Egypt, September 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

CAIRO, Egypt — An Egyptian actor known for his criticism of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government said Thursday that a military court has sentenced him in absentia to eight years in prison in two separate cases.

Amr Waked, a 45-year-old actor living in Spain, said his lawyer told him he was convicted of “disseminating false news and insulting state institutions.”

The lawyer, Malek Adly, said he was asking authorities for more details.

Waked, who has been residing in Barcelona since October 2017, said he had no knowledge of what the cases against him are about. He said he cannot return to Egypt.

He is a UN goodwill ambassador and is internationally known for his role in the 2005 thriller “Syriana.”

Egypt has waged a wide crackdown on dissent and the media, jailing thousands of people.

Last month, Egypt executed nine suspected Muslim Brotherhood members convicted of involvement in the 2015 assassination of Egypt’s top prosecutor.

The nine were found guilty of taking part in the bombing that killed Hisham Barakat, the first assassination of a senior official in Egypt in a quarter century.

The Muslim Brotherhood was Egypt’s best-organized opposition movement for decades and won a series of elections after a pro-democracy uprising in 2011 ended President Hosni Mubarak’s nearly three-decade rule.

But President Mohammed Morsi, a senior Brotherhood figure elected in 2012, proved divisive, and the military removed him from power amid mass protests against his rule a year later. Since then, authorities have outlawed the Brotherhood and branded it a terror group as part of a wider crackdown on dissent.

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