Egyptian poet gets 3 years for insulting security forces

CAIRO — A rights lawyer says an Egyptian military court has sentenced a poet to three years in prison for insulting the country's security forces.

The lawyer, Mokhtar Mounir, said Tuesday that Galal el-Beheiri was also convicted of "disseminating false news."

The verdict can be appealed.

El-Beheiri was arrested in March after he wrote a collection of poems entitled "The Best Women on Earth," a play on a saying attributed to the Prophet Muhammad that Egypt was the birthplace of "the best soldiers on earth."

In recent years, authorities have detained journalists, novelists, playwrights and stage actors on charges that include contempt of religion, harming national security, inciting strife or breaching morality. Their arrest is part of an ongoing crackdown on dissent that has seen thousands jailed.

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