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Home > Country focus > Egypt > Egypt: Prior to considering the Second Session of Appeal on His 5-Year Jail (...)

Egypt: Prior to considering the Second Session of Appeal on His 5-Year Jail Sentence , ANHRI Demands Acquitting Karam Saber and Ending the Trial of Creativity Freedom

Monday 21 October 2013, by The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

Beba Misdemeanor Court, in Beni Suef governorate, will consider tomorrow, 22 October, the second session of the appeal against the unfair judgment of five-year imprisonment that lodged by the author and human rights activist Karam Saber on account of the accusation of contempt of religion, after he authored a collection of short stories titled “Where is Allah”, said the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI.

The case’s proceedings go back to 12 April 2011, whereas a number of citizens in Beni Suef governorate filed a complaint No. 600/2011 before the attorney general in Beni Suef; accusing Karam Saber of issuing the story book, consists of 11 short stories, titled “Where is Allah” contains statements insulting the religious beliefs. As a result, the public prosecution conducted an investigation over the complaint without considering how serious is it.

The Prosecution showed the story book to a member of the Copt Orthodox Church in Beni Suef, who stated that the book is against the “Names of God in Islam”. It also showed the book to an administrative official at the Research, Authoring and Translation Department- an affiliate of Al-Azhar, who decried some words in the book and took them out of the text to be considered an insult and mockery, even though he is not specialized in issuing Fatwa. Thereafter, the Prosecution referred the case to the Misdemeanor Court, which carried, during7 May 2012 hearing, the writer the maximum penalty of five years in prison in absentia.

In the wake of lodging an appeal by Karam Saber on the default judgment, the 10 September session was fixed to consider the appeal, in which the court deferred it to the 22 October session.

It is worth mentioning that this case is the first religious and political Hesba cases after January 25th revolution which mainly aimed freedom of the Egyptian nation. Religious and political Hesba were the Damocles sword on creativity and freedom of expression in the former regime’s time , which the Egyptian people overthrew in the glorious January uprising.

ANHRI said that, “The procedures that are being taken during the trial of Karam Saber and the ongoing threat of imprisonment because of the Hesba case clearly emphasize the necessity of drafting a constitutional provision to prevent the misuse of the right of litigation to censor works of art and creativity in what is known as Hesba case”.

ANHRI demands the termination of this mockery trial for the freedom of creativity and expression, and to clear the author Karam Saber as well as to drop all the accusations against him.

SOURCE: http://freedomexpression.net/ecrire/?exec=article_edit&new=oui&id_rubrique=5

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