The Internet In the Arab World
A New Space of Repression?
No Rules, No Limits
United Arab Emirates:
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes
What are Three thousand police members doing in Ibrahim Essa's trail?
Cairo, October 1st, 2007.
In an unprecedented scene familiar only for those who lived under extinct dictatorships, Ibrahim Essa's trail took place, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said today raising concerns about the pre-trial procedures that preceded the trial of Essa, the independent Al-Dostur boss, for allegedly publicizing false news about the president's health.
Aljala court- hosting Bolak's criminal court's proceedings- turned today into a battlefield as many lawyers were denied access to the main building due to the heavy security presence, including those who are representing Essa.
The court astoundingly announced that Essa is held on the account of eight other cases making the total number of cases filed against him, nine cases.
"It looked like an auction run by the government for those who are willing to file lawsuit against Essa. Seven of these lawsuits filed by obsequious lawyers who are either members in or have close ties with the ruling party, yet what raised our concerns the most was that one of the lawsuits was filed by a number of lawyers who attended once before the trail of Ayamn Noor, a high profile prisoner of conscience, and attempted to defame his reputation, we are very worried about this move and the motives behind it" the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said.
The case was adjourned to October 24th pending the calling of the main witnesses- officials from the central bank and two officers from the deputy of state security- who filed the lawsuit against Essa. The next trial will be held in the fifth compound ( tagamo'o Khamis),eastern of Cairo,
"This massive number of police forces headed by high ranks officers belonging to every branch of security services in Egypt, uncovers the nature of Essa's trail, is it for a publishing-related crime? Or is it a freedom of expression's case against a state so bent on persecuting the press and taking down every outspoken journalist?" said Gamal Eid, the Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.