April 2, 2013 | By Jillian C. York

Egypt's Key Bloggers Face Absurd Legal Charges, Harassment

Alaa Abd El Fattah is under threat again. The Egyptian blogger, who spent more than a month in prison in 2011, missing the birth of his first child, has found himself the target of a new case. Last week, Abd El Fattah went voluntarily to the office of the prosecutor after hearing from the media that there was a warrant for his arrest for inciting “aggression” against members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

According to his own tweets, Abd El Fattah is being investigated for a mention on Twitter made by a user who goes by the handle “Princess Joumana.” According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, “the naïve members of the Muslim Brotherhood who filed the complaint against Abdel Fattah apparently thought the interaction on social media was a conspiracy involving a real princess—possibly from a hostile government such as that of the United Arab Emirates, where Brotherhood members are being put on trial.” Abd El Fattah denounced the investigation, calling for an independent judge—rather than the public prosecutor—to handle the case.

EFF spoke to Abd El Fattah, who asked that the case against Hassan Mustafa—an activist from Alexandria recently sentenced to two years in prison—be given more attention. Mustafa is an activist sentenced on March 12 to two years in prison for allegedly attacking a prosecutor, a charge he denies. Mustafa’s appeal is scheduled for April 13. Front Line Defenders is running a campaign in support of Mustafa.

EFF calls for the spurious charges against Abd El Fattah to be immediately dropped and for the Muslim Brotherhood to immediately end its crackdown on expression.


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