FILE – Egyptian lawyer Samir Sabry
CAIRO – 2 April 2018: Lawyer Samir Sabry filed a lawsuit to the Attorney General, Nabil Sadek, on Monday, against Asmaa Mahfouz. The lawsuit was filed against Mahfouz for winning the Sakharov prize, which was presented by the European Parliament, in 2011.
In his complaint, Sabry called for the Attorney General to transfer Mahfouz to a Criminal Court trial and ban her from travelling outside the country.
He stated that the prize, worth €50,000 (approx. $61,000), was given to her suddenly, and he did not know why. He asked whether it is funding, a reward, or for certain service, and what the is reason for this award.
The complaint from Sabry also claimed that this is a Jewish award and questions the award’s links to Zionism. The Sakharov prize is issued by the European Parliament, which is the elected legislative body of the European Union.
According to Sabry, the answer is that Mahfouz received the prize money, and accepted the award, in return for betraying Egypt.
According to the allegations, Sabry accuses Mahfouz of developing a close relationship with several American and Israeli entities, especially after travelling to many countries and receiving funds. He adds that the people do not know if Mahfouz is a scholar, a political activist or a cultural representative.
Asmaa Mahfouz was one of the founding members of the April 6 Youth Movement, which sparked nation-wide demonstrations on April 6, 2008. Since then, Mahfouz has been actively involved in opposing the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Mahfouz was awarded the Sakharov prize in 2011. She shared the prize then with other four Arab figures, including Ahmed al-Senussi from Libya, Razan Zaitouneh, and Ali Farzat from Syria, along with Mohamed Bou Azizi from Tunisia – who was awarded the prize posthumously.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, commonly known as the Sakharov Prize is granted by the European Parliament, and was named after Russian scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov. Sakharov was a famed Russian nuclear physicist, and a vocal activist for disarmament, peace and human rights.
Since 2011, several significant individuals have been granted the Sakharov Prize, which is issued annually by the European Parliament. Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai was granted the Prize in 2013, and the Saudi dissident, Raif Badawi, received it in 2015. The Democratic Opposition in Venezuela was the most recent recipient of the prize in 2017.