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“Cairo – Port Said”, May 26, 2009

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and Mosawah Association for Human Rights in Port Said expressed their strong condemnation over the unjust rule issued today by the al-Zohour Court of Appeal in Port Said, which upheld the decision issued on January 20, 2009, to sentence Tamer Mabrouk, owner of the blog “The Egyptian truth- http:/ / elhakika.blogspot.com”, to a fine of L.E. 2500, and civil compensation of L.E. 40.000 for Trust Chemical inc., which has filed a Libel and Slander case against Tamer Mabrouk in June 2008, for posting information that revealed that Trust Chemical had dumped chemicals into Manzallah Lake and the Suez Canal, which have significant adverse effects on the health of citizens and the wealth of fish. Tamer Mabrouk also reported on harsh working conditions in the company. These conditions are the reasons behind a recent worker sit-in, where workers asked for access to copies of their contracts and demanded that the company stop firing workers arbitrarily.

The ruling by the Court of appeal today dealt an illogical and severe blow to the case in which all the facts proved the fairness and validity of the position of the defendant Tamer Mabrouk, and many members of the Parliament requested an investigation into the violations of the company which brought the case, and some of them demanded the company to be moved quickly outside the city; for the serious dangers of the wastes it dumps in the lake and the Canal on the lives of citizens, these facts were published by many serious newspapers, not only the opposing ones, but also the government newspapers.

Tamer Mabrouk, the blogger who addressed these violations and received a harsh and unjust sentence, said: “I will continue what I started, and will not stand helpless in front of the influence of this company which threatens our lives and suppresses its workers.”

It is to be noted that the Internet police of the Ministry of Interior had a major role in this case, which exceeded their duty and role, as they also brought the same charges against Tamer Mabrouk, rather than simply be content with its technical role, which is limited to knowing the owner of the Egyptian truth blog, since the blogger himself admitted that he posted these topics and pictures, pointing out that what he published was mere facts.

The two organizations defending Tamer Mabrouk, the Arabic Network and Mosawah Association, said that: “The law had no role in this case, in which law has been marginalized like many other politicized cases. Based on our legal experience, we state that, unfortunately, Tamer Mabrouk has been subjected to gross injustice, as he did not violate the law in the articles he published.”

The two organizations will receive a copy of the legal reasons, to prepare a detailed commentary and point out their violation of the law, then submit a cassation appeal.

It is to be mentioned that this is the second time for the Egyptian court to issue a final decision against a blogger for what they posted on their blog, after the case of blogger Karim Amer. The absence of law and the overwhelming presence of politics are blatantly clear in both cases.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Mosawah Association for Human Rights “Port Said”

For more details:
http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2009/pr0121.shtml