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
Unfair sentence of 6 months imprisonment against Ibrahim Issa
The flare up of struggle between a tyrant government and free expression supporters in Egypt
Cairo, March 26, 2008
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information denounced today the judgment issued by Boulak Abu Al-Ela Court of Misdemeanor which was held in New Cairo Courts Assemblage against Ibrahim Issa the editor-in-chief of Al-Dostour independent newspaper as he was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and 200 L.E fine, in addition to stay of judgment. This was in regards to law suit filed by a lawyer and another two state security police officers with respect to the well-known case of "the president's health".
Many doubts are raised around this case in relation to its grounds and facts as the investigation started on last September 5, 2007. The General Prosecution mixed between its role as a body investigating allegations of the accusing lawyer and the officers who submitted records against Issa, and its role as a power to accuse, although the investigation was at its beginning. Then the case was transferred to the High State Security Court (according to the emergency law), yet they refrained from that decision and considered the case as a misdemeanor of publishing fake news that inflicted the national economy. Although the Central Bank experts didn't assure the relation between what was published in Al-Dostour newspaper– as well as other newspapers – about the president's health and any positive or negative effect on the economy, yet the aforementioned judgment of conviction was issued.
Despite that the stay of conviction judgment provides Issa with the right of appeal, it proves clearly the Egyptian government situation from freedom of press and also regarding journalists who are criticizing the government's performance like Ibrahim Issa.
Gamail Eid, the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated " Conviction issued today, is in fact a condemnation of the Egyptian government who uncovered its real situation towards freedom of expression. The government is insistent on taking revenge of Issa and convicting him, while in the same time, they know that imprisoning him for an alleged and faked crime is a big scandal, so that judgment was a compromise which is considered a rude manipulation of justice".
The Arabic Network as a part of the defense teamwork of Issa, decided to prepare for taking the procedures of appeal against that judgment and also preparing for the other expected judgments against Ibrahim Issa soon, besides other sessions that would be witnessed against him next week.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information confirmed that the way still long and difficult for journalists and freedom of expression supporters in Egypt which requires unity of all Egyptian active bodies to get back that right captured by the Egyptian government for too long.
To read the investigation with Ibrahim Issa the editor-in-chef of Al-Dostour newspaper on the plea of the president's health rumor, visit http://qadaya.net/node/24