A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Egyptian Blogger Before a Military Tribunal

Going after bloggers has the effect of making other bloggers take note, even if they aren't close followers of the blog in question. I've noted a number of attacks on bloggers on this blog, but most of the Egyptian bloggers who've been hauled before courts have faced civil courts. Here's a blogger who's facing a military tribunal in Egypt. The very fact is that this — trying a civilian in a military tribunsl — is possible only due to the the Emergency which has been in effect since the Sadat assassination in 1981 (way back when Ronald Reagan was a fairly new President of the US, Leonid Brezhnev was still Soviet General Secretary, Margaret Thatcher was British PM, and, umm, Husni Mubarak was President of Egypt).

More on the issue here. He seems to have gotten in trouble for "defaming the armed forces" by revealing an abuse of privilege. It reminds me of the old joke that someone is arrested for saying "the President is an idiot." Is the charge defamation? No, it's "revealing a state secret."

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