Journalist Fined And Sentenced To Six Months For Insult And Libel Of Almasry Alyoum Editor

Journalist Fined And Sentenced To Six Months For Insult And Libel Of Almasry Alyoum Editor

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said today that it will ask the renowned journalist Magdi AlGalld , Editor of the independent newspaper AlMasry AlYoum to waive his complaint against the journalist and blogger , Ashraf Shehata who was cruelly sentenced by the economic court on 31/8/2010 to six months in prison , a EGP 5000 fine and a EGP 2000 bail. AlGallad filed a complaint against Shehata , formerly a journalist at AlMasry AlYoum , Gomaa Mansour , owner of a landline and internet service subscriber and Ali Adel Fadl, internet café owner from which Shehata used to log on the internet.

Mansour and Fadl were each fined with EGP 50,000 on charges of “creating a communication network and offering communication services without permit” . The court bound all tree to a temporary compensation of EGP 5001.

The Arabic Network said that it hoped that the renowned journalist would no sue an journalist because of posts on his blog. AlGallad should have been the first to defend press freedom and the syndicate or civil judiciary should be the place where publication disputes are resolved especially between journalists. A journalist resorting to criminal court is the best justification for enemies of the freedom of the press in Egypt as many as they are.

This verdict is the first to convict internet café owners in Egypt. The court was convinced that Shehata was only capable of insult and libel by visiting that internet café and using that landline whereas owners of both bear no responsibility regarding how the internet café clients use the telephone or internet service.

The Arabic Network said that they would appeal to that verdict against Shehata and the internet café owners. ANHRI expressed hope that AlGallad would respond to their call , waive the case and accept a more suitable settlement for his dispute with another journalist , in support of freedom of the press and asserting the refusal to resort to criminal courts in publication cases.