Home » Accountability, Ahmed Seif El-Islam, Court, Egypt, Harassment , Impunity, Khaled Said, Torture in Egypt, حفلة, حقوق إنسان, فن و ثقافة

Abdu Returns and the attack on human rights defenders in Egypt begins

On Saturday 22 May 2010 a case against two Egyptian human rights defenders, Gamal Eid (Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information) and Ahmed Seif El-Islam (Founder of the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre), and blogger Amr Gharbeia will commence. The case is brought against them by Abdel Fattah Murad, a judge and writer of a book on the legal and scientific origins of blogging, accusing them of defamation, extortion, threat, and misuse of communication tools.



Lawyers prepare for Kareem Amer's appealThe story goes back to early 2007 when Gamal Eid discovered that Murad in his book had plagiarized tens of pages of a report ANHRI had published on freedom of Internet in the Arab World. At that time, Gamal and Seif were looking into the book as they were developing their defence for Karim Amer’s appeal. When ANHRI made public the issue of plagiarism, Murad chose to attack back targeting all those who supported ANHRI’s position. Over 21 blogs, if I remember correctly, were attacked by Murad when he requested the administrative court to shut them down. Bloggers and activists Manal and Alaa were interrogated for insult and defamation.

Later, Amr Gharbeia was questioned over two comments left on his blog regarding the Murad case. He was asked to submit the IP addresses of those who have commented. Amr has refused. Then, Gamal Eid and Ahmed Seif El-Islam were accused of extortion and libel.

Suddenly, everything went silent and the whole issue just faded away.

To everyone’s surprise, the cases were revived again and suddenly there is a court case against the three, Ahmed Seif El-Islam, Amr Gharbeia and Gamal Eid. The case is going to start on 22 May 2010 at 9 am at the Khalifa Misdemeanour Court, Galaa Street, Ramsis, Cairo, Egypt. Please show support by showing up tomorrow morning.

Coincidentally, I learnt earlier last week that Nasser Amin, Director of the Arab Centre for Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP), was questioned over comments he made regarding the recent debate on the appointment of female judges in the State Council. Amin was misquoted in the Dostour Newspaper when interviewed on this issue. He then corrected the statement and the newspaper published an apology. Yet some judges have submitted a complaint against him for insulting the judiciary.

It is saddening really to see now that the attack against human rights defenders is coming from judges.  This takes me back to 2005 when many of us stood on the stairs of the press syndicate to support the Judges call for independence of the judiciary. It reminds of a time when the security attacked demonstrators and tens were arrested and detained for weeks. The battle for independence of judiciary was not won and Egypt’s human rights record remains shameful.  A few years ago, it appeared like we were all in unity, supporting each other in defending our rights. Today, it looks gloomy as we stand against each other, threatening independent and vocal voices. It is even more sad that such an attack comes in the month of May; a month that has witnessed throughout the last decade so many brutal attacks against activists. It is a month that should bring us together and remind us of our struggle against dictatorship, corruption, and impunity.


















































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