The Arabic Network for Human Rights released a statement today that the Administrative Supreme Court in Cairo has considered an appeal by Judge Abdel Fatah Murad against the ruling issued by the Administrative Judicial Court. The Court dismissed the decision to block forty nine websites. The hearing has been delayed until 15th December following a report from the state commissioners denying that the websites had been blocked.
The Administrative Judicial Court had previously issued an historic order in December 2007 (http://anhri.net/en/reports/2007/pr1229.shtml ) rejecting a case brought by Judge Murad to block forty nine websites claiming that they were detrimental to the reputation of Egypt (http://anhri.net/en/reports/2007/pr0211.shtml) . He described the websites as “terrorist” in an attempt to disguise the fact that he himself was committing the crime of violating intellectual property rights, having stolen much of ANHRI’s own report on the freedom of internet use in the Arabic world, “Implacable Adversaries: Arab Governments and the Internet” (http://www.openarab.net/en/node/346 ). All these websites posted articles criticizing the judge for his crime.
It is worth mentioning that the Arabic Network for Human Rights had already filed a lawsuit against Judge Murad in April 2007, but so far the public prosecutor has neither annulled his immunity nor passed the case over to the court. That begs the question: doesn’t everyone in Egypt fall under the yoke of the law? Is this judge to escape justice?
Although the office of the Ministry of Justice has investigated the Judge for the crime of violation of intellectual property rights and ANHRI has learned unofficially that the Judge has been found guilty, the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Judicial Council have not so far taken any action against the judge.
This same judge is currently pursuing fabricated cases against ANHRI and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre and the directors of both organizations. These cases have been rushed through the courts despite their illegitimacy and despite the fact that their aims have been clear from the beginning. This is of course to wreak revenge on those who confronted the Judge’s assaults on the law. He is now trying to block the websites of all those who criticized him.
Gamal Eid, executive director of ANHRI said in a statement: “If the Judge were confident that the law would be applied fairly to him, he would not continue to make up cases. We still hope that the Chief Attorney and Minister of Justice will prove that no one is above the law in Egypt. If the conclusions of the investigation are published in a fair and transparent way, Justice will be seen to have been done in Egypt.”
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