- Other Issues
- December 27, 2007
- 3 minutes read
Saturday, December 29, 2007 A very important court sentence will affect the internet future in Egypt
The Arabic network for human rights information and Hisham Mubarak Law Center , two human rights organizations, stated today that the next Saturday December 29, 2007, will witness a very significant event. The administrative court will issue a sentence that will affect the future of internet & its freedom in Egypt . The sentence will be issued in the case that was filed by the judge Abdul Fattah Murad last February. Judge Murad launched his case demanding the banning of 51 websites in Egypt . He alleged that such websites defame, in their contents, the Egyptian government. The case came as a consequence of the detection of an assault against the intellectual property of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information by Judge Murad, as he published a profiting book containing dozens of copied pages pages of one of the network reports without referring to the source.
The case which has been investigated along ten hearing sessions held by the administrative court in Cairo , was launched last February by Judge Murad who demanded at that time to ban 21 websites, alleging that they defame Egypt and branded theses websites as “terrorism websites”. During investigating the case, he increased the number of banning-due websites to reach 51 websites. The real reason, of course unmentioned, behind his demand is that such websites published the judge’s real assault on copy rights & on intellectual property. Many local and Arab human rights organizations stood in solidarity with the Arabic Network whose property was trespassed.
On this track, Mr. Khaled Ali, the executive director of Hisham Mubarak law center commented saying, “Our stance comes as a mere translation of our principles as human rights activists. We refrained from launching a case of libel and defamation against the judge who branded our websites as terrorism websites.” “We hope to get a just sentence that assures justice and ensures, in the same time, the freedom of internet and the right of criticism and revealing any trespassing action practices by any personality”, Mr. Khaled added.
From his side, Mr. Gamal Eid, the executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said, “We can be described as victims of this judge who trespassed our intellectual property and also other repeated fabricated accusations against us. Moreover this judge is trying to deprive the Egyptian citizens from their right in an unblocked and uncensored website browsing.” “If this judge is backed by a tacit support from the minister of justice, we are looking forward to a judicial sentence that deepens the roots of the freedom of expression”, added Mr. Gamal who expressed his happiness for the national and institutional support by saying, “We are happy for getting backed by a large sector of citizens and institutions who strongly support our stance and rights.”
The importance of this case comes from being the first of such category of cases which demand banning dozens of Egyptian, Arabian and international websites, whether blogs, newspapers websites or human rights institutions websites. The sentence in this case will decide whether it will be available or not for internet users in Egypt to browse such websites which did nothing except practicing the right of information handling.