Egyptian Bloggers and Journalists in the Hot Seat

Date posted: February 2, 2009


Egyptian blogger, Zeinobia wrote a series of posts about bloggers and journalists who are either behind bars, sued, or fined. In her post, Another Blogger Detained, Zeinobia wrote:

Ok this is the sort of news no one wants to hear before the Eid “feast”. Another Egyptian blogger is being detained. Famous blogger and Citizen Journalist Ahmed Abdel Fatah of Yalally blog has been detained today from 3 hours ago and taken to the Dokki Station. He has been taken during a Pro-Gaza caravan arranged by MB [Muslim Brotherhood]. According to what I know he is currently in the Dokki Station. Ahmed is from the best and active Egyptian bloggers and Citizen journalists 🙁

Ahmed Abdel Fatah was released shortly after his arrest. In the same post she gave a brief update on another detained blogger, Mohamed Adel saying:

According to his father Adel is currently on a food strike. Up till this moment we do not know why Mohamed was detained. Some rumors are saying that it is national security matter concerning Hamas and Gaza !!!??

Zeinobia also blogged about Tamer Mabrouk:

who published a report supported by photography showing how “Trust Chemical Industries” Company was polluting the Lake Manzala with its chemical wastes from their factory. Author of “El Hakika” blog has to pay L.E 2500 as a fine and L.E 40,000 compensation for the company !!

A couple of days ago she wrote an update on the four editors-in-chief who were sued and fined for publishing false information in 2006 that defamed the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) of President Hosni Mubarak.

The 4 Editors in Chief case came in to an end yesterday after two years in courts !! Thankfully the court decided not to send them to jail but rather to make them pay a fine. The fine will be L.E. 20,00 for each !! This is better than jail from one side but from another side I wonder why they have to pay a fine or were even sued in the first place. You know when I look at it , it is kind of ironic that Wael Al Abrashi was the Editor in Chief of Sawt Al Oma when this lawsuit saga started and now Abd El-Halim Kandeel is the Editor in Chief of Sawt Al Oma !! Also Adel Hamoda was the Editor in Chief of Sawt Al Oma before Wael Al Abrashi !! Anyhow in the end this verdict does not mean that we live in democracy , on contrary it is sad thing and I know this case won't be the last.

Zeinobia asks: Can I as a person accuse someone else of espionage simply like that?

Saad El-Din Ibrahim is facing new charges of espionage. The Mubarak regime wants him in jail by all possible ways. Lawyers and NDPians Hossam Mustafa Abd El-Rahman and Nabil Luka Babawy accused Saad El-Din Ibrahim of :

  • Espionage and contacting Foreign president “G.W Bush”
  • Transferring Information with a nature that could harm the national security abroad.

Babawy is a former police general who has two PhDs in law and economics. He is known as being a Christian who defends Islam and its history in Egypt. Still Babawy is well known in Egypt as one of the Regime die hard defenders. I do not know how he defends religions if he continually lies to save the regime. I do not know much about Abd El-Rahman but he will be another a NDP loyal lawyer !! The two lawyers went to the general prosecutors with these charges. I believe this is just another regime chapter in the war against Ibrahim. He already faced several lawsuits of that kind. Ibrahim is living outside Egypt for months now for fear if he returns back he would be either sent to jail or killed by the regime. I do not agree on every thing Ibrahim says and believes in but it is unfair and unacceptable to be accused of treason just because we are opposing the regime in this way.

Last but not least, Ashraf Shehata is now being sued by Magdy El Gallad Editor in Chief of the famous daily Al Masry Al Youm. About this case, Zeinobia wrote:

El Gallad is suing Shehata for slander as the later used to criticize or rather attack him widely on his blog. Shehata summarizes his blog in the tagline as a "blog that exposes corruption in the Arabic press society" and to be honest I feel that it is more of dirty laundry blog. Yes Al Masry Al Youm is not angelic and there are lots of question marks around it , God Knows My grand father from the first issue hinted to things we did not pay notice to except later. And Yes Magdy El Gallad is not angel who has his own mistakes and Yes the young journalists and reporters in Al Masry Al Youm and other newspapers are suffering a lot but I feel Shehata’s  attack is biased and not objective.

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