The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
EOHR's Campaign for the Defense of Freedom of Thought and Belief
Wednesday, 1 July 1998The Kuwaiti Judiciary Puts Egyptian Journalist in Prison The EOHR received with deep concern news that on 24 June 1998 the Kuwaiti Criminal Court sentenced, in absentia, Egyptian journalist Ibrahim Marzouk, the correspondent of Al-Qabas newspaper in Cairo, to six years imprisonment with labour and execution of sentence. The sentence was issued for a caricature published in the 5th January 1997 issue in which he portrayed a teacher asking a pupil "Why Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise?", to which the pupil replied "Because they did not pay the rent." This was considered blasphemous by the Court. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Information brought the criminal lawsuit against the said journalist and the newspaper's editor-in-chief, Mohammed Gasim Al-Sakar, upon a request by a member of the Kuwaiti Parliament from the Islamic-trend. The court ordered the imprisonment of the two journalists for six months and the suspension of Al-Qabs newspaper for a week. The EOHR renews its firm stance of full respect for judicial rulings while at the same time condemns, in principle, all freedom-restricting punishments for freedom of opinion and publication offences. This freedom is fundamental for the achievement of a democratic society and the respect to freedom of opinion and expression stipulated in the International Covenant on Civil an Political Rights, ratified by the Kuwaiti Government.
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