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Egyptian blogger convicted of insulting president

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Egyptian blogger convicted of insulting president


Campaigners say this is the first major conviction in a legal crackdown on critics.

A high-profile Egyptian blogger and activist has been found guilty of insulting President Mohammed Mursi.

Dozens of Ahmed Douma’s supporters packed the courtroom in a Cairo suburb.

There was mayhem when he was found guilty of calling the president a criminal and a murderer in media interviews.

He was given a six month suspended prison sentence and a 500 euro fine was imposed.

An appeal has been launched.

His supporters are undeterred. “There will be a million Doumas”, said one man, “and a million martyrs, we will not be silenced until we bring down the regime”

For some, the figures speak volumes. Activists claim two dozen cases of “insulting the president” were brought in the first 200 days of Mursi’s rule – four times as many as during his predecessor Hosni Mubarak’s 30 years in power.

Our correspondent in Cairo says this decision draws a clear line between freedom of expression, supposedly guaranteed for all, and insult and defamation. The ruling shows that there will always
controversy over the relative interpretation.

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