An Egyptian blogger has reportedly been sentenced to three years in jail with hard labour over stereotypical statements made on National Television.
The blogger, Taymour el-Sobki reportedly claimed on national television that 30% of Egyptian wives would cheat on their husbands if they had the chance leading to the charge of ‘spreading false news’.
The Egyptian court responsible for El-Sobki’s sentencing claims that his comments had the potential to “harm public peace and damage the public interest.”
The blogger has reportedly suffered serious backlash from other TV talk show hosts as well as civilians who have filed complaints to public prosecutors with El-Sobki being accused of insulting Egyptian women.
Daily Mail reports that El-Sobki had initially said: “Many women cheat on their husbands. I can say that 30 percent of women are ready to be deviant”.
El-Sobki went on to specify cities where the behaviour is supposed to be prevalent which included the southern cities of ‘Asyut, Minya, Sohag, Qena, Luxor and Aswan’.
His Facebook page called ‘Diaries of a Suffering Husband’ reportedly boasts over one million followers, revealing that, ‘Many women are involved in extramarital affairs while their husbands are abroad.’
El-Sobki’s comments also suggests that arranged marriages in traditional southern Egypt have exacerbated the problem of infidelity since women ended up with men they barely knew.
The blogger’s comments has gone so far as to garner death threats including the video of a masked man armed with an assault rifle issuing threats against El-Sobki which has turned up on youtube.
However, a prominent human rights lawyer, Gamal Eid, while speaking on the case, said:
“We can criticize or reject the comments he made, but he did not commit a crime.”
Human rights groups have condemned the court’s decision on the case arguing that the comments were opinions that could be criticized or rejected, but not enough to pass for a crime.