Newspaper editor's trial for insulting Morsi to begin Thursday

MENA and Ahram Online , Tuesday 21 Aug 2012

Islam Afify, editor-in-chief of Al-Dostour, is also charged with publishing inaccurate information

Islam Afify
Editor-in-chief of Al-Dostour, a private daily newspaper, Islam Afify (Photo:Ahram).

The trial of Al-Dostour newspaper's editor-in-chief Islam Afify on charges of insulting President Mohamed Morsi and publishing inaccurate information will begin on Thursday at Giza Criminal Court.

Afify had earlier received a travel ban after several citizens filed legal complaints claiming Al-Dostour newspaper incited sectarian strife in the city of Dahshour, where sectarian clashes took place earlier this month, and insulted the president.

The 11 August issues of the privately-owned daily were also confiscated from the paper's offices following a decision by the head of Giza primary court last week, based on the same complaints.

Hassan Badie, managing editor of Al-Dostour, accused the Muslim Brotherhood of being behind the charges and the decision to raid the offices. Al-Dostour is known for its anti-Brotherhood slant.

Badie further urged the Press Syndicate to stand by Al-Dostour in the face of "this fierce campaign against freedom of the press and expression."

Confiscation of Al-Dostour newspaper and other cases filed against journalists have raised fears over freedom of the press. Activists including those critical of the newspaper condemned the court's decision as a violation of freedom of speech.

Others journalists are also facing trial on the same charge of "insulting the president", include longtime nationalist activist and editor-in-chief of Egyptian weekly Sawt Al-Omma, Abdel-Halim Qandeel, as well as editor-in-chief of weekly Al-Fagr, Adel Hamouda.

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