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Archive for Friday, January 19, 2007

Egyptian blogger stands trial

January 19, 2007

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— An Egyptian blogger went on trial Thursday on charges of insulting Islam and causing sectarian strife with his Internet writings. Egypt's first prosecution of a blogger came as Washington has backed away from pressuring its Mideast ally to improve its human rights record and bring democratic reform.

Abdel Kareem Nabil often denounced Islamic authorities and criticized Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on his Arabic-language blog. He has been in detention since November and faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.

Egypt has arrested a string of pro-democracy bloggers over the past year, sparking condemnation from human rights groups.

Nabil's trial in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria began two days after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Mubarak, seeking support for a new American strategy on calming violence in Iraq.

But unlike past visits, Rice made no reference to reform, instead praising the two countries' "important strategic relationship - one that we value greatly."

In 2005, the Bush administration made Egypt the centerpiece of what it called a policy priority of promoting democratic change in the Arab world.

Thursday in court, Nabil was charged with inciting sedition, insulting Islam, harming national unity and insulting the president, a court official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of court rules.

Defense attorneys asked for time to review the indictment and the trial was adjourned until Jan. 25.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 11 months ago

Is this the kind of "democracy" BushCo intend to bring to Iraq?

werekoala 7 years, 11 months ago

Are you kidding, bozo? Of course it is. Hell, there's some who'd like to bring that sort of attitude here. How about that AG - Gonzales, who thinks judges should defer to the president? Or all those folks who label anyone who disagrees with them a traitor? Or our beloved "free speech zones"?

Disgusting.

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