First Published: 2013-06-03

 

Ahmed Duma: First anti-Morsi activist to get jail term in Egypt

 

Cairo court sentences Egyptian opposition youth activist to six months in prison for insulting Islamist President Mohamed Morsi.

 

Middle East Online

Jail term and fine for ‘political criticism’

CAIRO - An Egyptian opposition youth activist was on Monday sentenced by a Cairo court to six months in prison for insulting President Mohamed Morsi.

Ahmed Duma, who was tried for calling Morsi "a criminal and murderer" during a television broadcast, was also ordered to pay a fine of 200 Egyptian pounds (22 euros).

The activist blogger can be released on bail of 5,000 pounds (550 euros) pending a decision by an appeals court.

Duma is the first anti-Morsi activist to be sentenced to a jail term, according to human rights groups.

Dozens of Duma supporters gathered outside the courthouse during the hearing, chanting slogans against the president and the powerful Muslim Brotherhood from which he came, a journalist said.

His trial took place after a complaint by a member of the president's Freedom and Justice Party, who said that he felt personally insulted by what Duma had said about Morsi.

The official MENA news agency said Duma was accused of spreading "false information and rumours in a television programme" and for describing Morsi as a "criminal and murderer who escaped justice".

Duma said his remarks were "political criticism" and were not intended to insult the president, MENA reported.

Morsi, elected in June last year, has been accused of suppressing or seeking to suppress opponents and journalists who criticise him by accusing them of defamation.

In April, Morsi ordered the withdrawal of the complaints filed in court by his office against journalists accused of publishing "rumours" about him.

Human rights lawyer Gamal Eid says there were four times more complaints about insults to the president" during the first 200 days of Morsi's presidency than under the Hosni Mubarak's entire 30-year rule.

Most such complaints do not come directly from the parties involved but from "citizens", and the presidency denies being behind any of them, citing the independence of the judiciary.

In September a Christian teacher was sentenced to six years in jail for insulting the Muslim Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and Morsi on Facebook.

Famous television satirist Bassem Youssef has also been targeted for allegedly insulting Islam and the head of state, and was questioned for several hours in March before being released.

Youssef's weekly satire programme Al-Bernameg (The Show) has spared few public figures of merciless critique.

 

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Emirates airline to avoid flying over Iraq

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800

UN urges Europe to tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis

From Israel with ‘virus’: Death threat letter reaches Palestinian mission in France

Ordeal of ‘apostasy’ woman ends with departure from Sudan

Another bloody day as Israel targets civilians in UN-run school

‘Islamic State’ launches multiple attacks on Syria army

Attack on Egypt army post bears fingerprints of foreign intelligence

Harassment of Christians escalates in Islamist-run Sudan

Air Algerie plane goes missing over Mali