Thursday, May 2, 2013

Activist to be tried for insulting Egyptian president

Life under an Islamic dictatorship. 


Last Update: Thursday, 2 May 2013 KSA 20:55 - GMT 17:55

Activist to be tried for insulting Egyptian president

Thursday, 2 May 2013

This April 1, 2011 photo shows activist Ahmed Douma chanting slogans during a march to Tahrir Square demanding prosecution of members of former President Hosni Mubarak's regime in Cairo, Egypt.

The Associated Press, Egypt -

Prominent Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma was arrested and immediately referred to trial for allegedly insulting the country’s president in a TV interview, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Douma is to stand trial on Sunday - less than a week after being arrested. He is the first prominent opposition activist to be tried on charges of insulting Islamist President Mohammed Mursi.

There have been a myriad of complaints levied against journalists and TV personalities, including well-known satirist Bassem Youssef, for insulting Mursi.

Rights groups say such charges restrict freedom of expression.

“The crime of insulting the president is vague and undefined,” the Egyptian Organization of Human Rights, one of Egypt’s oldest such groups, said in a statement on Thursday. “Most criminal codes in the world have abolished such crime.”

In Egypt, such a crime is punishable by up to three years in prison. A teacher in southern Egypt was sentenced to six years in prison in September for insulting Islam’s prophet Muhammad and Mursi in comments posted on Facebook. A prominent TV presenter was acquitted on charges of insulting the president and spreading false information following an appeal.

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