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Court of appeal upholds acquittal of ANHRI director, two bloggers

The court of appeal in Dokki, Giza upheld on 30 June 2009 the decision made on 31 December 2008 acquitting bloggers Alaa and Manal and ANHRI Executive Director Gamal Eid of the charges of libel and insult.

ANHRI said Abd Al-Fattah Mourad's case against the three stemmed from their accusation that he had plagiarized an ANHRI report about the freedom of using the internet in the Arab world for his own book.

Abd Al-Fattah Mourad, a judge from Alexandria, made up an insult and libel case against Eid, Alaa and Manal. An acquittal ruling was issued in the winter of 2008. However, Mourad, instead of abiding by the law and showing regret for stealing copyrighted material, was under the illusion that his strong ties with the minister of justice would pave the way for a chain of cases against the two bloggers and ANHRI. A biased prosecution was suspected as all complaints against Mourad from ANHRI were processed slowly.

The obviously trumped-up charges in the case led the court of appeal to rule for a final acquittal of Eid and both bloggers.

Two years ago, ANHRI filed a complaint against Mourad. ANHRI learned that investigations into this case have reached the conclusion that Mourad stole pages of ANHRI's report and claimed them as his own, which is a felony that can be punished with a prison sentence and a fine. However, hidden strings are being pulled to keep Mourad from justice.

ANHRI has decided to publish a booklet documenting all fabricated cases that Mourad had filed against the organization, bloggers, papers and activists who know him well for his ongoing attacks on freedom of expression. The booklet will also include documents revealing the clear bias of certain entities that supported Mourad instead of supporting transparent investigations. These entities deliberately hindered transparent investigations in an attempt to undermine ANHRI, an institute that supports freedom of expression.

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