The Referring of Fatima Naoot to the criminal court is a return to the cases of “Hisba”

December 29th, 2014 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses serious concerns on referring the Journalist and Writer Fatima Naoot to the criminal court for allegedly affronting religion. Last October Naoot posted a post on her Facebook page describing the Islamic Sacrifice as a “massacre”. She added that for 10 centuries every Muslim has undertaken the task of sacrifice with a smile on their face, despite that millions of innocent animals are driven to slaughter.” Naoot added that what she wrote was nothing more than wishes of felicitation for the Muslim world, and a call for respecting the sacrificed animals, and slaughtering them properly, instead of insulting it in front of children, which led to incidents such as a child beheading his infant baby sister on the day of the feast of sacrifice. Naoot’s statement provoked many responses, most of them were critical of her statements, while some supported her.

EOHR sees that the case filed against Fatima Naoot is a return to the “Hisba” system[1]. The organization also considers this an abuse of the right of litigation to terrorize ordinary citizens and prevent them from exercising their basic rights, among those rights, the right to freedom of expression that is guaranteed by the article 65 of the constitution.

EOHR  warns of the dangers of “Hisba” cases, that present a threat to the freedom expression , opinion, thought and beliefs. It is also a threat to the principles of the human rights that prohibit criminal prosecution for peaceful expression of opinion. This situation brings back to our minds examples of cases from the past like Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, Naguib Mahfouz, Farag Fouda and other cases where poets, writers and artists stood trial for their opinions.

On his part Mr. Hafez Abu Seada the president of the organization said that what is happening to Naoot is an indication of a specific deterioration of freedom of opinion and expression and foreshadows a new wave of blaspheming, that the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has long warned about over the past decades. Abu Seada demanded the cessation of these measures, and the cancellation of any legal ramifications that may have resulted from it. He also stressed the importance of reviewing all laws that transgress freedom of expression.

[1] a system of religious guardianship, which has been amended according to article 3 from the pleadings law, and that the person filing the case lacks the interest and character required by law.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 29th, 2014 at 5:12 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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