More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mubarak

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More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mubarak

Post by DJKeefy »

Prominent rights lawyer Eid says number of lawsuits for 'insulting the president' during President Morsi's first 200 days in office is higher than during Hosni Mubarak's 30-year reign.

There were four times as many 'insulting the president' lawsuits during President Mohamed Morsi's first 200 days in office than during the entire 30-year reign of former president Hosni Mubarak.

This is the claim made by Gamal Eid, human rights lawyer and executive director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

Moreover, the number of such lawsuits during the Morsi era is more than during the entire period dating back to 1909 when the law was introduced (originally for 'insulting the king'), Eid said via Twitter.

Members and sympathisers of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which President Morsi hails, have allegedly used the accusation to intimidate opposition figures in the media.

In early January 2013, Islamist lawyers filed a lawsuit against political satirist Bassem Youssef for 'undermining the standing of the president' after he poked fun at President Morsi's speeches and put his image on a pillow. The charges were dropped before the case reached court.

In December 2012, the president's office accused psychiatrist Manal Omar and TV host Mahmoud Saad of insulting the president on the latter's programme Akhir Al-Nahar. They discussed the psychological effects of suppression and jail on those in power, with reference to President Morsi who spent seven months in jail during the Mubarak era and was detained for three days during revolution.

On Monday, ANHRI will issue an in-depth report on the issue called 'Insulting the President…A crime of an Autocratic Regime'.

The report will trace such lawsuits filed during the tenure of Egypt's five presidents, and will include the names of those put on trial, including journalists and grassroots activists.

The first person to be charged with 'insulting the king' was the journalist Ahmed Helmy, grandfather of Egyptian artist, poet and cartoonist Salah Jahin, in 1909. The most recent was Gamal Fahmy of the independent Tahrir newspaper in January 2013.

Source: http://english.ahram.org.eg/News/62872.aspx


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Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mub

Post by Teddyboy »

I'm surprised that President Morsi hasn't rescinded this cowardly law. As long as the people are not allowed to insult their leaders, then the leaders will never know exactly how they are really viewed by them, or maybe even realise where they are going wrong!

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Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mub

Post by Hafiz »

Bit of a debating point and don't agree with the law but maybe other laws closer to home should be removed..

Doesn't the UK have the crime of Lese Majesty, also Thailand. In case you argue that these sovereigns have no real power then surely that would be a stronger argument for removing the law than if it protected an elected official whom you can get rid of. :)

Does Lese Majesty protect the underwhelming elements of the Batten-berg etc family? Is Prince Charles protected - he needs to be - have I committed Lese Majesty? :?

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Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mub

Post by Teddyboy »

"have I committed Lese Majesty?"

I've no idea! I haven't come across this law in my everyday 'barrack-room lawyer' discussions. As usual, your posts are an education, Hafiz!

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Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mub

Post by Hafiz »

Might not have been clear. A number of European states have the crime/offence of Lese Majesty for verbal attacks on the head of state/libel/plain dirty language. These include Spain, The Netherlands, The UK, Denmark and Norwary. Non European states with similar laws include Thailand, Morocco and Kuwait.

Lest you think that this is a secondary school debating point:the Spanish satirical magazine El Jueves was fined for violation of Spain's lese-majesty laws after publishing an issue with a caricature of the Prince of Asturias and his wife engaging in sexual intercourse on the cover in 2007 and the Polish Marxist tabloid publisher Jerzy Urban was sentenced by a Polish court to a fine of 20,000 złoty (about €5000 or US$6,200) for having insulted Pope John Paul II, a visiting head of state and best of all In October 2007, a 47-year-old man was fined €400 for, amongst other things, lese-majesty in the Netherlands when he called Queen Beatrix a "whore" and described several sexual acts he would like to perform on her to a police officer.

To their credit the ever unsentimental Scots don't have such a law so it would be possible for them to slag off the Germans without a fine or jail.

My point is about clean hands and double standards and Europeans throwing stones - although I admit that the European versions of this law are Telly Tubby compared to their Thai and Egyptian playmates. Some one in Thailand has recently been jailed for a few years for a relatively benign attack on their queen so I guess Egypt is not alone in this area.

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Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mub

Post by Teddyboy »

I thought that libel was against the law in general, as was the public use of plain dirty language, and rightly so in my opinion.
However, in the case of a constitutional and hereditary monarchy, where the monarch is (to all intents and purposes) removed from the political arena, and holds the position with the will of the people) then I would welcome and applaud some form of protection for them from unnecessary ridicule or insult.
Political figures, whose idiocy or dishonesty can and do reflect seriously upon the welfare and well-being of the population, are an entirely different case in my view.

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Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mub

Post by Bullet Magnet »

Re: More 'insulting president' lawsuits under Morsi than Mubarak

I guess the Lawyers are happy, laughing all the way to the bank... :cg
There's a time for everyone, if they only learn
That the twisting kaleidoscope moves us all in turn.

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