The Egyptian Martial Court sentenced the Egyptian blogger and Human Rights activist Mr. Michael Nabil to two years incarceration, for immediate execution (and of course with no maneuvering room for appeal, special Martial Courts procedures and special emergency laws, still in vigor since 1981, deny that – nfa*). The sentence came following the Court’s conclusion that Mr. Nabil was found guilty of committing the crimes of “Contempt seasoned with Defamatory and Slanderous Acts against the Armed Forces”!!
Few pale lines shyly embedded, and deliberately hidden, within the inner pages of “Crime News Chronicles” on some newspapers. But that’s not my problem.. What concerns me is far beyond the domesticated information media.
I am alarmed to the fact that such a verdict is simply raping democracy in its dearest and most treasured virtue: “Freedom Of Expression”. That freedom dearly preserved in the “Universal Human Rights Declaration”, whereas in its most famous article 19 reads:“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”
I am alarmed to the fact that the verdict unveils the factual and indisputable intentions of the “System” as to continue the hard-line of intimidating intellectuals and muzzling any mouth trying to speak up his mind or express an opinion, just like before.
I am alarmed because that verdict is a bold public declaration by the “System” stating its intolerance towards any manifestation of democratic practices, as known in free modern societies.
I am alarmed because the “System” is refusing to admit or accept the idea of a possible “different opinion” criticising or opposing whatever actions or decisions taken by the “Governing Body”, as stipulated by any “Social Contract”.
I am alarmed because we are not realizing the simple, yet obvious, fact that if the “System” truly believes that an essential part of Democracy is what Article 19 just explained, then it would have never tried Mr. Nabil in the first place, because “Freedom of Expression” is but an integral part of the “Citizenship Rights”; and if that means burning flags or bluntly insulting the highest symbol of the republic, so be it. Because it is part of the democratic process, and it is the citizen’s right to freely express his or her opinion.
I am alarmed and preoccupied because that fundamental is not yet fully integrated in our collective conscience, and is not strong enough to become an integral part of our collective culture. Our differences should make our strength, but that sentence has decided it to be our weakness.
Keep your head up and your back straight Michael Nabil, and don’t allow them to break you. Be strong and don’t give them that satisfaction. Personally, I don’t know or care what you wrote or said, but I do care about your, and my, right to write and say.
Pass On The Word.