June 12 marks the one-week anniversary of an ongoing sit-in by prominent Egyptian writers, filmmakers, performers and intellectuals seeking the removal of Minister of Culture Alaa Abdel-Aziz. They broke into the ministry building on June 5 to protest what they see as efforts to 'Ikhwanize' the arts.
While Egypt is still discussing its future NGO law, which may hinder e.g. human rights organisations in working freely in the country, a court in Cairo has sentenced 43 people to between one and five years in prison for working for unregistered NGOs in Egypt.
Twenty-seven defendants, all of whom were tried in absentia, received five-year jail sentences. Eleven received one-year suspended sentences, and five received two-year sentences.
A Tunisian court on Wednesday convicted three European feminist activists who staged a topless courthouse protest last month, sentencing them to four months and a day in prison, a court official said. The defense called the sentence far too harsh.