Egypt : Ongoing Criminal Trials in Publication Cases The Arabic Network Denounces Referral of Media figure Hamdi Kandil to Criminal Court
Cairo Semptember 6th , 2010
On 5/9/2010 , The Prosecutor General referred the media figure, Hamdi Kandi, to criminal trial , to stand before Giza criminal court on charges of insult and libel in the case filed against him by the Egyptian secretary of foreign affairs, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, on the background of an opinion piece titled ” Humiliation of home land and the citizen” in ElShorouk daily in May 2010 in which he criticized corruption and humiliating Egyptians abroad and slammed the inconsistent statements of Aboul Gheit and the Egyptian ambassador in Israel. Aboul Gheit filed a communiqué to the Prosecutor General against Kandil accusing him of insult and libel.
On 30/5/2010, Kandil and his lawyers , among whom are ANHRI’s , stood before Giza Prosecution to be interrogated in the communiqué filed by Aboul Gheit. The prosecution heard Kandil’s statements and decided to release him after charging him with insulting a public employee.
Kandil is frequently harassed by security because of his non – stopping criticism of corruption and his ongoing call for the right of the Arab nations in democracy. Many of his TV shows on Arabic channels were stopped such as “Qalam Rassas” and “Raees ElTahrir” . Moreover , he is now tried before the criminal court shortly after joining The National Assembly for Change due to the communiqué filed against him by Egyptian secretary of foreign affairs.
The Arabic Network expressed deep resentment that a media figure would stand before a criminal court on a charge that is punished by prison and fine as per article 133 of the penal code for only using his right to express and criticize situations that would harm public interest. It is unacceptable that a writer is threatened of imprisonment because of his opinions
The Arabic Network said,” The Egyptian government has to stop trying journalists before criminal courts. We urge to have a special court for journalists or that they are arbitrated in their syndicate. It is not acceptable that a journalist or a writer be tried in criminal court competent for murder and drugs cases.
The Arabic network added that thee president has to fulfil the promise he made six years ago to cancel imprisonment in publication case. Ironically, since this promise was taken , criminal trials in publication cases are increasingly ongoing”.