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Hosni Mubarak pardons Egyptian editor Ibrahim Eissa for reports on President's health

Hosni Mubarak pardons outspoken Ibrahim Eissa for reports on President's health
Egyptian protests: Egyptian journalists protest with posters showing Ibrahim Eissa, editor of the independent Al-Dustour newspaper, after an appeals court upheld a guilty verdict against him for stories questioning the Egyptian president's health, in Cairo, September 28, 2008. The verdict was condemned by local and international rights groups who described it as part of the ongoing curtailment of freedom of expression in Egypt. Banner in foreground reads, 'they want to jail Al-Dustour newspaper'.Photo: Associated Press (AP) / Amr Nabil

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has pardoned outspoken editor Ibrahim Eissa from the two-month jail sentence the latter received for “publishing false information of a nature to disturb public order or security,” state-TV announced late Monday.

An Egyptian appeals court on September 28 upheld a guilty verdict against Eissa who wrote stories questioning President Mubarak's health. Eissa, editor of the independent daily Al-Dustour, was sentenced to two months imprisonment.

Eissa was originally convicted in March this year and sentenced to six months on charges of reporting and publishing "false" information that questioned the health of 80-year-old President Mubarak.

The judges at the time ruled that a series of articles he published threatened national stability and caused foreign investors to pull their money out of the country. Mubarak has been in office for more than a quarter of a century and has no obvious successor, making any speculation about his health a very sensitive topic.

Eissa welcomed the pardon but said Egypt was one of a few countries whose laws allow for reporters to be jailed. "While I welcome this ruling, I think the issue is larger than that between one reporter and the president," he told news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP)"The issue is that of Egyptian journalism, which suffers from an arsenal of laws that negate freedoms."

Date posted: October 6, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 644