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
An Unjust and Precipitous Military Trial for Journalist Magdi Ahmed Hussain
Cairo, 5 February 2009
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information stated that Magdi Ahmed Hussain, a journalist and the Secretary General of the Labor Party, appeared today before the Military Court in Ismailia, after the military prosecution indicted him of unlawfully entering the Gaza Strip in Case No. 11 for the year 2009.
The Court did not permit the defendant’s lawyers to meet with him, extending this right exclusively to lawyers whose names were registered in the prosecution’s investigatory reports. Even so, the above registered lawyers excused themselves from meeting with him except on the condition that his other lawyers were allowed. Subsequently, the court assigned other lawyers, who had no knowledge of the case and were not prepared. In spite of this fact, the court set the date of 11 February 2009 for the hearing, bringing a new element of unfairness to the trial, namely basing it upon military law and hurrying its proceedings.