Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression

Egypt Letter urges President Mubarak to intercede in jailed Internet user’s case

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Reporters Without Borders, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) sent a joint letter to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on 24 December asking him to intercede in the case of Ahmed Hassan Basiouny, a young man who was sentenced to six months in prison by a military court on 29 November just for encouraging his fellow Egyptian Internet users to enlist in the Egyptian armed forces.
The letter urged President Mubarak “to do everything in your power to get this conviction overturned, to get all the charges against him withdrawn, and to obtain his release as soon as possible.”
Basiouny was convicted of disseminating defence secrets online and disclosing information about the armed forces because he created a Facebook page entitled “Enlisting and recruitment in Egypt and answers to the questions of young applicants,” in which he offered advice and information for young people who were thinking of enlisting. (More information)
The joint letter pointed out that “there was nothing confidential about the information as it was already available online, including on the new Egyptian armed forces website.” It added : “Mr. Basiouny did not engage in activity that was in any way subversive or harmful to the armed forces. On the contrary, he promoted the armed forces to Egyptian Internet users.”
A Facebook page has been created to support Basiouny
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