Today, an Egyptian military court sentenced a colonel Ahmed Konsowa to six years in prison after he announced plans to stand in the 2018 presidential election.
Konsowa was given the jail term for “stating political opinions contrary to the requirements of military order”, his lawyer Asaad Heikal said. The colonel had announced he would be a candidate for president in video messages and a statement on Facebook on November 29.
He was also accused of “appearing on the social network website Facebook in military uniform, contrary to the requirements of military order,” Heikal said. The 42-year-old has been in custody since his arrest on December 2 as military prosecutors investigated the case, Heikal said. On Tuesday, the lawyer said he will appeal the verdict.
In his videos, and without mentioning President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi by name, Konsowa criticised Egypt’s policies in education, health and the economy. Heikal has said Konsowa followed Sisi’s example in announcing his candidacy. Sisi was in uniform when he did so, before later resigning as defence minister.
Sisi was elected president in 2014, a year after leading the military’s ouster of his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi amid mass protests against his year-long rule. Sisi is certain to stand next year, although he has yet to formally announce his candidacy.