The Internet In the Arab World
A New Space of Repression?
No Rules, No Limits
United Arab Emirates:
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes
Hesba Cases Cast Away The Civil State Principles And Citizenship Rights
Egyptian Government Has To STOP Compromising
Cairo on 1/10/2009
The Arabic Network for human rights information, ANHRI, stated that the weak stance of the Egyptian Government regarding the swarm of Hesba cases against writers and reporters , resulted in Hesba cases gaining more ground and extending their reach to human rights activists and civil society advocates.
The last of these cases were filed by some lawyers against Nawal El Saadawi after her call to found " Solidarity Group For A Civil Society In Egypt." Another case was filed from a lawyer against the well known business man Naguib Sawiris after the latter having criticized the second article of the Egyptian constitution, stipulating that "the Islamic law is a major legislation resource". Both Saadawi and Sawiris are accused of inciting to Islamic religion contempt.
The feeble reaction of the Egyptian government to face political and religious Hesba cases encouraged more citizens and lawyers to file hundreds of Hesba cases against writers , reporters and activists seeking publicity or governmental attention or just being religious fanatics.
These primarily illegal cases are becoming a hovering threat over the heads of all intellectuals in Egypt. Instead of conducting a open, reasonable dialogue based on intellectuals opinions, Hesba experts will rather start the legal chase and a chain of lawsuits against those intellectuals.
It is to be noted that some of these cases were accepted in Egyptian courts, thereby violating the law which stipulates the existence of a legal status or interest from the prosecutor side.
ANHRI stated that " Every citizen has the right to file communiqués, this is acceptable. Yet , it is not acceptable or conceivable that the prosecution would take in any communiqué and start legal proceedings and the court would agree to conduct trials in such cases though the cause and status are usually lacking.
The government is responsible for the consequences of the last case , which is quite alarming as the prosecutor is Niazr Ghorab,is an Islamic fundamentalist and the defendant is a Christian Egyptian , Naguib Sawiris".
ANHRI added " We will not be surprised to learn that the Egyptian government is behind the case against Nawal El Saadawi, right after arriving home after a long stay abroad, as Saadawi's criticism of the Egyptian regime and her advocating of a civil state is very irritating to the Egyptian government".
ANHRI warns again of the enormous threat to the freedom of expression in Egypt, which is becoming so monstrous, willing to engulf every new opinion and different thought.