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Blogger jailed for publishing insults

Bloggers are learning that they must respect the laws of every country where their blogs may be read and this newspaper report notes that a blogger has been jailed for insulting the President of Egypt:

"The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) denounced the decision by an Egyptian appeals court on 12 March 2007 to uphold a four-year jail sentence against a blogger convicted of insulting Islam and the Egyptian president. . .

Amer's blogs regularly criticised the religious and authoritarian excesses of President Mubarak's government, and Egypt's highest religious institutions, including the Sunni university of Al-Azhar, where he studied law before being expelled.

In another case, Ibrahim Issa, Editor-in-Chief of "Al Dustour", avoided imprisonment after he and journalist Sahar Zaki were fined 22,500 Egyptian pounds (approx. US$3,952) when the charge of "insulting the Egyptian President" and "disturbing public order" was upheld by an Appeals court in Al-Waraq last month."

Egypt is on this list of 13 countries listed as "Internet enemies" by the "Publishers without Borders" organization.  Their 13 "Internet enemies" include Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Myanmar, China, North Korea, Cuba, Egypt, Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkmenistan and Vietnam

Remember, blogger's First Amendment rights to free speech do not apply in cases of libel, fighting words, and cases where a blog is subjected to the laws of a foreign nation.  See the BC notes here:


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