Egyptian poet gets 3 years for insulting security forces
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Egyptian poet gets 3 years for insulting security forces

Galal el-Beheiri also convicted of ‘disseminating false news,’ rights lawyer says, amid crackdown on dissent

Egyptian army soldiers patrol the Cairo-Ismailia desert road in Egypt, August 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Egyptian army soldiers patrol the Cairo-Ismailia desert road in Egypt, August 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

CAIRO, Egypt — A rights lawyer said an Egyptian military court sentenced a poet to three years in prison for insulting the country’s security forces.

The lawyer, Mokhtar Mounir, said Tuesday that Galal el-Beheiri was also convicted of “disseminating false news.”

The verdict can be appealed.

El-Beheiri was arrested in March after he wrote a collection of poems entitled “The Best Women on Earth,” a play on a saying, attributed to the Prophet Muhammad, that Egypt was the birthplace of “the best soldiers on earth.”

In recent years, authorities have detained journalists, novelists, playwrights, and stage actors on charges that include contempt of religion, harming national security, inciting strife, or breaching morality.

Their arrest is part of an ongoing crackdown on dissent that has seen thousands jailed.

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