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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

EOHR's Campaign for the Defense of Freedom of Thought and Belief

Wednesday, 1 July 1998

The 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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This document is published online by Derechos Human Rights. Derechos works against violations to human rights and humanitarian law all over the world.