A drawback to freedom of expression: Bolaque Misdemeanors Court confirms a two-months imprisonment sentence on Ibrahim Issa

September 28th, 2008 by Editor

EOHR expresses its deepest concerns on the court dicision issued by Bolaque Misdimeanors Court of Appeal to sentence Ibrahim Issa, editor-en-chief of “Al Dostour” newspaper with two months of imprisonment.


Issa was sentenced by a misdemeanour court on 26 March to six months in prison for publishing false information and rumours about Mubarak’s health. Issa was first indicted by the High State Security Prosecutor’s Office on 5 September 2007, on allegations of “propagating false news and rumours causing a general security disturbance and harming the public interest” and “intentionally publishing false news that may harm public safety.” The indictment was in connection with articles concerning the health of President Mubarak published by Issa between 28 and 30 August 2007.  Issa was charged under Articles 171 and 188 of the Egyptian Penal Code.


Accordingly, EOHR expresses its anxiety concerning the continuation of this policy of imprisoning journalists, which contradicts with Egypt’s international obligations, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political in its Article 19, which states ”



“Everyone has the right to the freedom of expression as this right includes the freedom to search for information or any kinds of ideas and  receive or transfer it  regardless of borders  either orally or in a writing or a print form   , whether in the form of art or any other media of their choice” . The Egyptian government has ratified on these covenants and became an integral part of its interior  law in accordance with Article 151 of the Constitution as well as Egypt promises to the International Council for Human Rights to work on developing  human rights issued in 2007 which stated the following :

1. Preserving the freedom of the press and the independence of the judiciary, the role of the Supreme Constitutional Court in reviewing the constitutionality of laws .



2. Exerting every effort to meet the aspirations of its people to a better future; through a process of political, social and economic reform bases on supporting human rights standards. One other obligation on the Egyptian government before the International Human Rights Council, in which Egypt’s file will be reviewed in 2010.


Its worth mentioning that this sentence is to be executed even if it was challenged before the Court of Cassation, unless the Prosecutor General agreed to suspend the execution till the Court of Cassation gives its decision. EOHR sees that is a rising wave of persecuting Egyptian Journalists, as there is now in Egypt 47 cases against journalists, in addition to the case against 4 editors Ibrahim Issa, of the daily “Al-Dustour”, Wael al-Abrashi, of the weekly “Soat al-Ommah”, Adel Hamoda, of the weekly “Al-Fagr”, and Abdel Halim Kandeel, former editor of the weekly “Al-Karama“.


EOHR believes that this sentence the authorities tendency to suppress freedom of expression and freedom of journalism. EOHR refuses that intellectual debates and opinions to be viewed by criminal courts while applying notorious laws that mostly applies harsh punishments. Finally, EOHR calls upon the Egyptian government to suspend all imprisonment sentences against journalists, writes and intellectuals.  



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This entry was posted on Sunday, September 28th, 2008 at 3:52 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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