Cairo, 31st December, 2008
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and Hisham Mubarak Law Center announced today, the court of Dokki Misdemeanors marked the end of the 2008 by a judiciary verdict that sends a breeze to all of the freedom of expression defenders whom were suffocating as a result of the deteriorating situation of the freedom of expression and press freedoms in Egypt.
It announced its decision, acquitting the two young bloggers Manal Bahi and alaa Abdel Fatah, and the rights lawyer Gamal Eid, director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, involved in a fabricated libel and defamation case.
Judge Abdel Fatah Murad revealed that he had copied from the report of the Internet Freedom Report issued by the Arabic Network, published and sold it, which is considered plagiarism.
Judge Abdel Fatah has fabricated a libel and defamation case against Manal Bahi, Alaa Abdel Fatah, and Gamal Eid, in April 2007, after the first session of the case he raised demanding blockage of 49 websites on the Internet, along with two of the Hisba lawyers whom, wanted to punish the Arabic Network and the bloggers for their defense and advocacy of the secular blogger Karim Amer. The trial lasted several sessions, ending today with a verdict acquitting the two young bloggers and the rights lawyer.
The acquittal today was a gift from the Egyptian judiciary to the freedom of expression defenders in Egypt, equally with the previous gift at the end of year 2007, when the judiciary rejected the claim of the same judge requesting filtering of 49 websites and blogs, which published his plagiarism—and so, he has fabricated many cases to cover his transgression. But the Egyptian judiciary rejected these fabricated cases, and triumphed for the rightness and justice through his previous sentence rejecting to block the websites, and latter through his acquittal verdict.
The blogger Alaa Abdel Fatah stated that: “despite our happiness of this verdict that restores the things back to normal, but we still concerned by the numerous cases that target the defenders of freedom of expression and the right to circulate the information, and that all of the enemies of the freedom of expression are running after the activists, bloggers, journalists and prosecuting them in courts and tribunals to aiming to intimidate those activists”.
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Hisham Mubarak Law Center
More information about the cases: