Round 2

For those who are not familiar with this case, please go here , here , here , here and here for background information. For those who are, this is what happend today:

Today was the first session of the case at the new court, the sixth district court, to cover the case of Judge Mourad against the 21 websites. The Judge was supported by the Hesbah lawyers of the AbdelKarim case (they are trying to add his blog to the list of banned websites), and our side was supported, by, like many many many people, including the government. Imagine that. The Ministery of telecomunication sent a lawyer that was, for the lack of a better word, excellent. But more on that Later.

Judge Mourad presented his case, which was a whole lot of Bullshit. His first line of argument was that he was being attacked and slanderd by those evil websites, which is something that could happen to any Judge (Hint hint, presiding Judges, hint hint), and that he faces a very organized campaign of attack and slander against him since day one. His case then became that those websites and organizations insult the Quran, God, The President and the country, and some of them are funded by "foreign sources" that give them "bags of dollars" to help them continue to defame the country. He asked the court to demand from the NGO's a detailed account of where their funding comes from and then presented posts and pirnted webpages to support his claims. He also demanded that the court makes the sessions private and not allow publishing anything in the newspapers on the case.

Then our side striked back.

Gamal Eid from HR Info presented the plagarsim document, and made a very elequont case that this is very much a private vendetta thing and an attempt by the Judge to hide his plagarism, and has nothing to do with defending Egypt. He also wanted the Judges to ignore the gag order and continue nmaking this case as public as possible, since the man just publcially defamed them in court.

The Government Lawyer made a very detailed argument that a) It's practically impossible to block a website, since there are proxies that can access it, and b) That it makes no sense to block every website someone defames somebody on, and made the analogy that if a wrietr in a newspaper insults someone in his writing, the newspaper doesn't get shut down and c) that the Judge has no business telling the government which websites to block and which not to, and that if thatd oor gets opend, everyday someone will demand the pulling of a website, and they do not have the time, energy or respources to investigate every single one and block it , given that they know how futile it is. 

 The Judge then announced that he will make his decisions on the demands known at the end of the session, then came out with a decision to move the next sesion to the 5th of may and to ignore the Judge's demand for a gag order. The thing that makes you very optimistic is that the Judges seemed to really know the case and what's at stake and weren't exactly friendly to the Judge. So there is hope and a very good chance that this case could be very well thrown out.

After the session was over, a small but heated argument started between The Hesbah Lawyer and Alaa and Gamal Eid, given that the Lawyer was a witness at a police report accusing Manal and Alaa of insulting Judge Mourad the last hearing. This is bullshit, because, well, Manal wasn't even there. She had left at 10 am and the scuffle that took place last hearing where the alledged insulting happend, occured around 1:30 pm. The Hesbah Islamic lawyer, with his beard and all of his Koran spouting skills, is a liar and Alaa told him that to his face. Not that it matters of course. The man has no conscience!

It feels weird though to be on the same side of the government. Not sure that I am going to get used to that feeling. 

Oh well..

15 Comments on Round 2

  1. Egypeter
    April 7, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    See Monkey – This Judge Mourad is a FINE example of someone who you should physically beat the shit out of not defenseless little nerdy doctors, right?!

    Egypt really needs to work on its Freedom of Expression laws….seems like anyone who says anything can either get sued or thrown in jail.

  2. Rancher
    April 7, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    Mahmood’s Den is being sued, these guys are being sued, Abdel Kareem’s in jail, Europe now has hate speech laws, I fear America could be next. Hopefully the Blogosphere can prevent this.

  3. Rashad
    April 7, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    SM, I wonder what you think that the presence of the MCIT lawyer implies for the government’s position as a whole on this issue? Do you think this was just a move that the MCIT made or do you think the rest of the government is behind it as well?

  4. Alaa
    April 7, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    actually ya monkey that lawyer was from
    هيئة قضايا الدولة
    which is the state’s defense team, there was an MCIT lawyer but he was not as impressive and limited his argument to the fact that no law gives MCIT the responsibility of censorship.

    now for this PERFECT and RADICAL defense to come from someone in hey2et qadaya al dawla is really impressive, they are actually considered judges not lawyers yet they are typically seen as judges too close to the state, the guy has to stand in that court room and defend the state in all the 100s of cases they go through not just ours, so typically he’d use stock responses, ask for a delay and contact respective state agencies asking them to send their pivate lawyers, for him to put that much effort in formulating an argument on the first session (from his point of view it is the 1st session) is just amazing, also he attempted to remove anyone but the MCIT from the case, this is perfect for us since the interior ministry is likely to side with censorship but MCIT which is run by technocrats is more likely to side with freedom (at least for financial and technical reasons).

    the guy should be celebrated (also the judge who asked to be excused from the bench because he consults for MCIT, that’s a rare show of honesty and reason to feel optimistic).

    as for the talafi parasite well we should all embark on a campaign to slander him to death, since our lawyers won’t allow us to bash the judge surely we can enjoy pissing on his paid mercenaries.

  5. Roman Kalik
    April 7, 2007 at 6:22 pm

    Interesting. And quite unexpected.

  6. Zvi
    April 7, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    (b) is the most impressive. (a) and (c) are about the technical difficulty of blocking blog sites and the prerogatives of the government, but (b) seems to relate to free expression.

    There are a lot of instances when human rights are abused in Egypt, but an honest person who complains should also be willing to praise the Egyptian government when praise is due. And this act merits it.

    But – sigh – how typical, for the Islamist lawyer to side with the thug and demand censorship, even though the MB claims to be a “democratic opposition.” Also, how typical that he’s perjuring himself. I hope that the bloggers have evidence to that effect.

    Well, best of luck to the bloggers! Thanks for the interesting post & comments.

  7. Olive Picker
    April 8, 2007 at 7:03 am

    Here’s hoping. Although I suspect the real reason is that the judges are blog readers themselves, and loathe to lose their entertainment.

  8. Roman Kalik
    April 8, 2007 at 9:18 am

    Or rather that they don’t want to be bothered by other, similar lawsuits and just want to set the precedent and call it a day.

  9. pofo
    April 9, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    cool site!!! A ++++. Really nice valuable information and fine layout:))))

  10. Hollowpoint
    April 9, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    this is the proof that we still handle our freedom to show or write whatever we want

    Are you joking? The defendants were arrested for reprinting the Mohammed cartoons… but because they weren’t convicted it’s proof that you have free speech???

    The very fact that there was even a trial suggests a serious problem in “Old Europe”.

    Freedom of speech is and has been eroding in Europe. If you disagree, I have two words for you: Oriana Fallaci.

  11. Nomad
    April 10, 2007 at 12:12 am

    I don’t remember that Philippe Val from “Charlie Hebdo” was arrested , if you were really interested by the truth, you would have translate the article from “Le Monde”

    as far as Oriana Fallaci, she might be your Bible but sorry not ours

    I suggest you translate what is following :

    “Des critiques affirment que les livres d’Oriana Fallaci sont purement polémiques, souvent égocentriques, basés sur des stéréotypes, xénophobes, islamophobes et racistes pour une grande part de leur contenu. De nombreuses formulations de son essai La Rage et l’Orgueil (Plon, 2002) lui sont reprochées, comme « il y a quelque chose, dans les hommes arabes, qui dégoûte les femmes de bon goût », ou encore : « Au lieu de contribuer au progrès de l’humanité, [les fils d’Allah] passent leur temps avec le derrière en l’air à prier cinq fois par jour ». Dans cet ouvrage, les musulmans sont également comparés à des « nouveaux croisés » et elle affirme que les imams sont « d’une manière ou d’une autre les guides spirituels du terrorisme ». A propos des mosquées elle écrit que « surtout en Italie […] elles grouillent jusqu’à la nausée de terroristes ou aspirants terroristes ».

    Elle affirme enfin que les Arabes sous couvert de migrations envahissent l’Europe pour propager l’Islam et elle conclut en affirmant que les musulmans « se multiplient comme des rats ».

    En dépit de ces critiques, Oriana Fallaci a reçu le soutien de partis politiques et de mouvements tels la Ligue du nord (ouvertement xénophobe) en Italie, où ses livres ont été vendus à plus d’un million d’exemplaires.”

  12. Hollowpoint
    April 10, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    I don’t remember that Philippe Val from “Charlie Hebdo” was arrested , if you were really interested by the truth, you would have translate the article from “Le Monde”

    as far as Oriana Fallaci, she might be your Bible but sorry not ours

    The article wasn’t clear if he was arrested or not, but either way a judge had to rule on the matter- a matter of free speech.

    As for Oriana Fallaci, it doesn’t matter if you agree with her or not, the fact is that both Swiss and Italian authorities felt she should be criminally prosecuted because they didn’t like what she wrote. I don’t know what it’s like in France specifically, but in Old Europe, there’s unquestionably been a loss of free speech rights in favor of political correctness.

  13. Nomad
    April 10, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    but either way a judge had to rule on the matter- a matter of free speech.

    of course, some Muslins associations did put the case in court, so far none of these kinds of complain issued to a condanmation

    In France, Oriana Fallaci didn’t have any credit, except With Finkelkraut, but everyone here knows how he has turned into a biased extremist and watchs for a retro way of expression in litterature, in that way that he doesn’t want to assimilate new words coming from Surburbland too ; you can’t say our free speech rights are over, they exist for the counterpart too, when some “bad boys or girls” want to mock or critisize our political manhood ;

    I am looking for your evidence with exemples, do you have any ?


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