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
Only In Egypt: A Six Month Prison Sentence For Wael Abbas
In A Fabricated Case on Which He Was Already Acquitted
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said that the Ministry of interior is still insisting on defying the law and justice in attempt to put the famous blogger Wael Abbas in prison.
Wael was surprised to find a new sentence issued against him in the same fabricated case on which he was acquitted a few weeks ago after it was proven to be fabricated. He found himself facing the same sentence; 6 months in prison and a bail of LE 500 for "providing telecommunications service to the public without permission from the authorities!" This charge had already been dropped by the public prosecution in a previous case about "vandalizing an internet connection". Abbas and ANHRI defense team were surprised to learn about the new sentence in this case that has already been closed.
This new sentence, which was issued in through a rather twisted legal path, reveals an invisible hand manipulating the case, disregarded the prosecution decision to rule out the charge and forwarded the case to the Economic Court as a fresh case to be looked into again resulting in issuing a prison sentence. ANHRI defense team did not find a trace of this charge in any relevant prosecution documentation.
Gamal Eid, the Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said "this is a blatant tampering with the law manifested in the continuous games played by the Ministry of Interior. The case was closed already and Abbas was acquitted after proving to the judiciary that it was a completely fabricated. We are surprised by this new and rather quick sentence and a campaign by the security authorities with the aim to imprison Wael Abbas. Despite having more than ten million court decisions not been implemented in Egypt, the Ministry of Interior is so keen to jail blogger that it regards with great hostility. This is because his blog exposes crimes of torture and corruption in Egypt. No state ever mobilizes all its security forces to take revenge from a young man but the Egyptian state".
The Arabic Network has decided not only to pursue legal defense for Abbas, but also to sue the citizen, behind whom the Ministry of Interior is hiding (this citizen also happens to be a police officer's brother) for issuing a false communiqué. This is especially true after the court has discovered the whole case was fabricated and acquitted Abbas.
Gamal Eid said, "We are expecting some answers from the Attorney General's office. They started the proceedings of the fabricated case against Wael Abbas on which he was acquitted. We wonder how the prosecution will act this time when we file a communiqué against the citizen whom the Ministry of Interior uses as a cover for all these illegal proceedings."
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