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
Tomorrow the ruling in the first of cases targeting Al-Doustor Newspaper and its editor Ibrahim Eissa
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated today that the ruling expected to be pronounced tomorrow by a Cairo Court of Misdemeanor against journalist Ibrahim Eissa (editor-in-chef of Al-Doustor independent daily newspaper) in regards to the "president's health case", is the first episode of verdicts and cases series (mounted to 9 cases) filed by lawyers of the Egyptian ruling national party, are all related to the same allegations and claims that "Ibrahim Eissa had published fake news about the president's health which inflicted the national economy".
The Arabic Network expressed denial and wonder of accepting 9 cases to be filed against the same journalist and regarding the same case - even if it was enclosed in one case – despite that Eissa in the first place didn't commit any crime.
On the coming March 31, Eissa is also waiting for another judgment to be issued by the same court on the same alleged crime, besides April 1st trial session regarding allegations of defamation and libel suit, rather than next April 5th appeal session that Eissa and the other three editors shall conduct the trial on charges of "criticizing the ruling party and some of its officials". So the next week will be the week of persecuting Ibrahim Eissa.
Gamal Eid, the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated "it seems that courts were devoted to prosecute Ibrahim Eissa the journalist who is doing his regular job of analytical and critical writing, as the non-democratic Egyptian government is playing its natural role through that large number of cases which aim to remind Eissa and other journalists of such a fact".
The Arabic Network explained "Within these unfair trials, it is irony for the Egyptian government to raise objection against local and international denouncements uttered against its human rights record. As if the unfair trials against activists and journalists are considered as a proof of respect for human rights in Egypt".