Rumors have been reaching me for days now, and I received confirmation only today from lawyer Gamal Eid, executive manager of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.Follow this story as it develops at Arabawy, where the full email is posted. This is the most serious development against bloggers to take place in Egypt, and if a court rules in favor of the lawsuit it will not only be difficult to overturn but also encourage more lawyers to make a name for themselves by filing lawsuits against other sites. As Amr says:
It seems that Judge Abdel Fattah Morad, head of Alexandria Appeal Court, has started a lawsuit against the government in Egypt’s Administrative Courts in order to block a number of Egyptian websites. The list, 21-websites-long, includes the blogs and sites that took part in the discussion around the book the Judge has written, and the wide plagiarism evident in the book copying HRInfo’s report on Internet Freedoms in the Arab World, and a how-to-blog guide written by blogger Bent Masreya.
Of the 21 blogs and website, I was able so far to confirm Kifaya’s and HRInfo’s websites, in addition to the blogs of Bent Masreya, Yehia Megahed, and my own.
The lawsuit is started by Abdel Fattah Mourad, one of Egypt’s most senior judges–and head of the Alexandria Appeal Court, where imprisoned blogger Abdul Kareem Nabil Soliman’s case is heard next week.
What worries me, however, is that this is a judge whose ruling cannot be appealed. He can silence, imprison or execute people, and he oversees our elections.
Once the blogs are found offensive by the court, then in light of the Egyptian’s regime reputation, it is automatic to prosecute the bloggers. This is an early warning.