The Internet In the Arab World
A New Space of Repression?
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United Arab Emirates:
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes
Egypt: discipline police broke through a publishing house and confiscated a novel
Yesterday, an Egyptian police force broke through one of the Egyptian publishing houses and confiscated copies of a novel alleged to have political connotations. The police force told one of the publishing house officials that the house director along with the novel writer should attend to the police bureau. The paradox here is that the police force which broke through the publishing house was affiliated to the disciple police.
On Tuesday, April 15, a force of discipline police led by a colonel broke through Malameh publishing house located in Cairo and owned by blogger Muhammad Al Sharkawi who is under arrest for the April 6th strike. The police force confiscated copies of the novel entitled "Metro" written by Magdi El Shafi'i . The novel is to be the first of graphic illustrated novel in Egypt and its events take place in a political and social frame. The police force confiscated the novel for being harmful to the "public manners" for using the colloquial language in expressing the events.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights information condemned the accident of breaking through the publishing house and confiscating the novel entitled "Metro". The Network considered that accident illegal for having no permission by the prosecutor to break through and search the publishing house. The Network also rejected the confiscation of the novel and considered it a sever violation against the freedom of expression .
It is worth to mention that Muhammad Al Sharkawi, the Malameh publishing house director, who is now under arrest for the April 6th strike, was detained two years later for his solidarity with judges. He was physically abused and the general prosecution recorded this abuse but the involved officers were not punished by any means.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights information expressed its deep concerns towards confiscating books and novels by the ministry of interior. The ministry, few days ago, confiscated a book entitled "To avoid humiliation" written by Omar Afifi, who was a police officer. In his book, Omar simplifies sarcastically the legal rights for citizens to avoid being maltreated by the police.
Confiscating the "Metro" novel by the discipline police shows significantly who is controlling the field of writing and his way of thinking.