The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

The return of a taboo?

If this report is correct, I think the arrests could have a broader significance.
CAIRO - Egypt’s prosecutor general ordered eight activists on Monday to be held for 15 days on charges including insulting President Hosni Mubarak, security officials said.

The police arrested the activists on Sunday at a protest in support of other detained pro-reform activists. 

“The detained people are charged with disrupting traffic, obstructing the state from carrying out its duties and insulting the president,� one of the security officials said.

Over the past 18 months or so, sharp criticism of the President in the press and on the street has been tolerated. Over the next few weeks, it will be interesting to observe whether the red lines will be re-moved to previous limits.