Four newspaper editors sentenced to a year’s labour for libelling president and ruling party
Four newspaper editors sentenced to a year’s labour for libelling president and ruling party
Tuesday, September 25,2007 10:16
A Cairo criminal court yesterday sentenced four newspaper editors to a year’s forced labour and the maximum possible fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds (2,600 euros) for libel and “false information harming the country’s reputation and general interests.” Their conviction was the result of lawsuits brought last year by the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP).
 
“We are witnessing a crackdown on independent publications which had enjoyed a relative respite in recent years,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Once again, it is the same journalists, ones known for being critical of the government, that are being targeted.”
 
The lawsuits were filed on 15 September 2006 by Ibrahim Rabe’a Abdel-Rasul, a lawyer and NDP member, against Ibrahim Issa of the weekly Al Dustour, Adel Hammouda of the weekly Al-Fagr, Wael Al-Abrashi of the independent newspaper Sawt Al-Umma and Abdel-Halim Qandil of the weekly Karama. The suits accused them of libelling President Hosni Mubarak, his son, Gamal (the party’s deputy secretary-general), the prime minister and the interior minister in articles published from July to September 2006.
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