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FDHRD issued its Report: “Suit Hesba… Restriction on freedom of opinion and expression”

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Sunday, June 14, 2020

Press Release

Today, Sunday, the Freedom of Opinion and Expression Program at the Forum of Development and Human Rights Dialogue- FDHRD issued its report: “Suit Hesba… Restriction on freedom of opinion and expression”. The report dealt with the concept of Hesba, which is a voluntary act that stems from a religious basis and vision, where the Muhtasib monitors the conditions of people and the extent of their commitment to what God has commanded or forbidden, and makes this in mind; It was used by the various streams of political Islam, and with the decline in their chances after 2013, some lawyers carried the banner after them for the sake of fame, fame and sometimes wealth.

The report of the FDHRD paid attention to the fact that the Egyptian law does not include the so-called Hesba law in its texts. On the contrary, the Pleadings Law includes a clear and conclusive text that requires the claimant to have a personal interest, and several years ago another text was added to it regarding lawsuits claiming public rights, so that it is not filed except with the knowledge of the Public Prosecution, and accordingly, any person who files a lawsuit that does not achieve a personal interest decides that it is not accepted. Activists, creators, artists and writers in Egypt.

The report monitored the submission of about 21 complaints during 2019 against some public figures in Egypt, including writers, politicians and artists. FDHRD documented about 30 complaints for those accused during the first half of this year, most of which came against artists such as Ramiz Jalal, the artist Mohamed Ramadan and some channels and television programs, some of which are some members of the House of Representatives. The report monitored that the Egyptian judiciary had ruled that some of them lacked jurisdiction and rejected a large number of them, and some cases are still being discussed in court.

In its report, FDHRD called on the Public Prosecution to use its authority to save these complaints and issue an order that there is no reason to file a lawsuit. FDHRD also called for amendments to be added to the pleadings law that would prevent the court from being involved in issues of freedom of opinion and creativity in Egypt.

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