Egyptian court postpones defamation trial against Asmaa Mafouz

The Ain Shams Misdemeanor Court on Monday, postponed the defamation trial of former April 6 Youth Movement leader Asmaa Mahfouz to 9 October.

Political activist Tarek Zeidan, chairman of the Egyptian Revolution Party, which is still in the process of being formed, filed the lawsuit against Mahfouz, accusing her of libel and defamation on social networking site Twitter in July.

In a statement on Monday, the Arabic Network for Human Rights said that Zidan is accusing Mahfouz of spreading false information about him in order to "drive a wedge between him and the Egyptian Revolution," according to the lawsuit.

Mahfouz is being accused of spreading false news on her Twitter account claiming that Zidan was involved in the attack on protesters near the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces headquarters in Abbasseya in July.

In the statement, the rights group said the case “represents a serious setback to freedom of opinion and expression in Egypt, as this is the first time a libel and defamation and slander case is made over a [Twitter] post."

The statement described the case as "a huge mistake" on the part of Zeidan, a former activist, who is trying to restrict the rights of another activist who criticized him.

This is the second case to be brought to trial over a post on Twitter. The first case also involved Mahfouz, who was investigated by the military prosecution office on charges of defaming Egypt’s military rulers and calling them a "council of dogs."

She was also charged with incitement to violence after she wrote on her Twitter account that “if the judiciary doesn’t give us our rights, nobody should be surprised if militant groups appear and conduct a series of assassinations, because there is no law and there is no judiciary.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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