Aswat Masriya (Cairo)

Egypt: Nation's Human Rights Lawyers Defend Political Satirist

A number of Egyptian human rights lawyers formed a legal committee to defend freedom of expression on Monday. They will provide legal support for journalists and media workers who are exposed to threats and lawsuits while practicing their job.

The legal committee issued a statement saying that they will defend political satirist Bassem Youssef in the case filed against him to stop his weekly television show.

Youssef is accused of mocking President Mohamed Mursi and defaming religious scholars.

The statement added that the legal committee will establish an online page for receiving similar complaints of threats to the right of freedom of expression.

In a different incident, cartoonist Doaa al-Adl was accused of blasphemy for allegedly defaming religion in one of her caricatures.

In the same realm, a 27-year old blogger was sentenced to three years in prison for posting online materials that "defamed religions", a case which Amnesty International described as "an outrageous assault on freedom of expression".

Egypt director of Human Rights Watch Heba Morayef has recently commented on the alarming rise of criminal defamation cases, saying that "it is the greatest threat to freedom of expression".

Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood's webpage reported that the Information Minister said that a new freedom of press law is being drafted to guarantee freedom of expression.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 Aswat Masriya. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.