Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

29 September 2008

Two month sentence for prominent Egyptian editor

Two month sentence for prominent Egyptian editor
A prominent Egyptian newspaper editor faces two months in prison for writing an article about the health of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Ibrahim Eissa, editor-in-chief of the daily Al-Dustour, was sentenced to a six-month prison term in March 2008, but lodged an appeal.

The appeal, which was heard on Sunday, led to his sentence being reduced by the Boulaq appeals court in Cairo.

He was charged with publishing information considered by the authorities to be "damaging to the public interest and Egypt's national stability." The articles in question suggested that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's health had deteriorated.  

The authorities claim that the articles were untrue and led foreign investors to withdraw investments worth some 350 million US dollars damaging the country's economy.

The editor remained at liberty, on bail, pending the outcome of the appeal. He will now have to serve the two-month prison sentence, although it has been challenged before the court of cassation, unless the Public Prosecutor decides to stay its execution until the court of cassation has given its decision.

Ibrahim Eissa was charged under Articles 171 and 188 of the Penal Code. His prosecution forms part of a wider pattern by the Egyptian authorities.

"The authorities use criminal defamation and other charges to chill media expression and reporting on issues that they consider to be beyond the 'red lines' of what may be disclosed to the public although they are, in reality, issues of clear public interest," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Programme, condemning the decision. "If Ibrahim Eissa is imprisoned, Amnesty International will consider him a prisoner of conscience and will call for his immediate and unconditional release.

"Amnesty International urges the Egyptian authorities to amend the controversial press law and all other provisions in the Penal Code that criminalise legitimate reporting and to cease using criminal defamation charges to harass journalists and prevent their reporting on matters of legitimate public interest."

Read More

Egyptian newspaper editor sentenced to six months (News, 27 March 2008)

@amnestyonline on twitter


18 September 2014

Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children – some as young as 12 – using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape... Read more »

19 September 2014

The Guatemalan government is fuelling the fires of conflict by failing to consult local communities before awarding mining licences to companies.

Read more »
19 September 2014

A Thai court’s decision to uphold a 10-year prison sentence given to an editor and social activist for allegedly insulting the royal family continues the relentless erosion of... Read more »

19 September 2014

Ireland’s latest guidelines on abortion are mere window-dressing that will confuse health professionals and endanger women’s lives and rights.

Read more »
19 September 2014

The Egyptian authorities are putting at risk the life of a jailed activist, whose health has sharply deteriorated after more than 230 days on hunger strike, by denying him... Read more »