Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Eissa verdict expected tomorrow

The verdict in Ibrahim Eissa´s case concerning false information about President Mubarak´s health is supposed to be handed out tomorrow. This is the first in a marathon of cases against Eissa. The first of nine cases, all filled by lawyers close to the National Democratic Party. This case started in September.

In another case of press freedom , the International Federation of Journalists based in Bruxelles issued a statement in support of the editor of the website Ikhwanonline, Abdul-Jalil Al-Sharnouby, whose house was raided on March 12th by security forces as part of the current crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood prior to the local elections, due to take place on April 8th. Al Sharnouby was not present in the house at that time.

Al Sharnouby´s fellow journalist and Muslim Brother , Khaled Hamza, editor of the Muslim Brotherhood english website was arrested on February 20th.


Ibrahim Eissa recieved a prison sentence of six months for having spread false information about President Mubarak´s health in August 2007. The sentence was given by Judge Sherif Kamel Mustapha at Bulaq Court of misdeamenours this morning. He was found guilty of having harmed Egypt´s economy.

He paid 200 E.P and was freed on bail. Eissa is expected to appeal to a higher Court.

This was Ibrahim Eissa reaction to the verdict:

"This verdict is against all international human rights conventions," Eissa told AFP after judge Sherif Kamel Mustapha handed down the sentence in a Cairo court.

He said the verdict showed the regime's hostility to the press and "affirms the holiness of President Mubarak and the rejection of any criticism of him or his policies. I don't know if this is a judicial decision or a political one.

"The regime is trying to defend itself because it knows it has plunged the country into successive crises and, if my imprisonment will make bread reach the people who are queuing for it, then I am ready to go to prison," he said.

Here is a CPJ statement on Eissa from March 24th were CPJ executive Director had this to say:

“Eissa’s prosecution shows how Egypt’s authorities shamelessly use the courts to punish outspoken journalists,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.” The court should dismiss this politically motivated case once and for all.”

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