Ibrahim Eissa to Face Verdict on Wednesday on Egyptian President’s Health Case
A Boulak court in the Egyptian capital Cairo will issue a ruling on Wednesday March, 27th, in the case against Ibrahim Eissa, editor-in-chief of the Egyptian daily Al-Dustoor on charges of publishing rumours around the health of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak .
Eissa was accused last September of spreading reports about Mubarak”s health which were ” liable to disturb public security and harm public interest”. The case was at first sent hastily to the Emergency Supreme State Security Court , an emergency court that doesn”t allow appeals and rarely acquits defendants, but it was sent later to a Cairo Criminal Court in the wake of a local and international condemnation.
Ibrahim Mansour, the executive editor-in-chief of the daily Al-Dustoor newspaper, confirmed to Ikhwanweb that this is not the main point in the case because the Egyptian constitution allows journalists to speak with freedom and give whatever questions they want and questions do not turn into a case. The case should have been dismissed. “The government wants to silence all voices. However, what Ibrahim Eissa did was a legitimate right. The talk about the health of president was circulated. Ibrahim Eissa didn”t commit a crime when he demanded a statement around the health of the president”, he said.
Mansour added that” Freedom in Egypt has no presence on the ground. The only thing present is a small margin in whose limits journalists dare to speak and they pay its toll when they dare too much. The journalists have no laws to protect them. Ibrahim Eissa is not the only one facing suppression. There are many cases of violations of the freedom of speech. Two weeks later, four journalists will face charges which aren”t charges. Take also the military trials and how the regime deals with critics to its policies”.
” Analysts agree unanimously that we are undergoing the worst periods that Egypt is facing in the political, social and economic levels. We are about to see an inheritance of power. See also the scene in the runup to the local councils elections and blocking potential candidates. Rigging is no longer restricted to ballot boxes, rigging goes back to the main source. All these conditions affect the press”.
Mahmoud Qandil, one of Eissa”s lawyers, confirmed that:” Eissa is has been singled out for prosecution because he keeps focusing on the issue of inheritance of power by Mubarak”s son, Gamal. And the purpose is to find a scapegoat to prompt self-censorship about the inheritance and transition of power in Egypt”.
If convicted, Eissa faces up to three years in prison and a fine of as much as 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($3,600).
Al Dustour newspaper was not the first or the only Egyptian publication to report on the rumors of the president”s health. The international Committee to Protect Journalists has rated Egypt as the worst country in the retreat in the freedom of the press, pointing out that there is an increasing number of legal and physical aggressions against journalists and the press.