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Lebanese woman returns home from Egyptian jail


A Lebanese woman who was jailed in Egypt over a video that was judged to be offensive returned to Lebanon Friday, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Mona Mazbouh arrived at the Rafik Hariri International Airport at midnight, where her family and her lawyer, Hussein Bazzi, welcomed her.

Upon her arrival, she thanked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Egyptian interior minister and the head of the Al-Qanater women’s prison where she was held because “they treated her well,” she was quoted as saying. She said the experience had taught her a valuable lesson, according to the NNA.

She stressed that she did not mean to insult “all” Egyptians in the video she posted on her private Facebook page that lead to her arrest. In the video, Mazbouh described Egyptians as “the dirtiest people on earth,” after recalling alleged incidents of harassment. The video was later shared publicly by an anonymous user.

Bazzi said that Mazbouh, 24, had previously undergone a surgical procedure, which helped the Egyptian court give her leniency in her sentence. Mazbouh’s father has told Egyptian media her daughter was 12 years old when she had the surgery.

“What happened here was the implementation of the law. We were able to prove that the video was leaked and Mona’s brain surgery helped ease the punishment.”

Mazbouh settled a fine of 30,000 Egyptian pounds ($1,670) Tuesday and was released after the Court of Appeals reduced her sentence to one year and then suspended it.

On Thursday, local Egyptian media reported that Bazzi had confirmed Mazbouh’s release.

According to the NNA, Mazbou also thanked the Lebanese government and Lebanese Ambassador to Egypt Ali al-Halabi for helping to secure her release.