CAIRO: Imprisoned blogger Karim Amer’s cassation hearing to be held on Aug. 17, could potentially overturn his sentence and have him released, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) announced on Saturday.
In accordance with amendments made to the Criminal Procedures Code in 2007, the criminal court will investigate the cassation case instead of the misdemeanor court that issued the initial sentence.
In 2007, Amer became the first blogger to receive a jail sentence in Egypt. He has already served over half of his four-year term for insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak in his blog.
The 24-year-old Alexandrian was a law student at Al-Azhar University until his expulsion in March 2006. The expulsion was reportedly a consequence of criticisms of Al-Azhar faculty expressed in Amer s blog and in other online forums.
Al-Azhar filed a communiqué with the office of the Public Prosecutor regarding Amer s blog, beginning the formal investigation which would lead to his arrest and present imprisonment.
He was charged with defamation of the Egyptian government, spreading data and malicious rumors that disrupt public security ; defaming the president of Egypt ; incitement to overthrow the regime upon hatred and contempt ; and incitement to hate Islam and breach of the public peace standards.
Human rights advocates and lawyers have faced opposition from government officials in their attempts to appeal Amer s sentencing.
Amer s lawyers have also claimed that their client has been the subject of mistreatment in prison. According to the ANHRI s statement, the procedure for securing Amer s cassation was particularly complex and riddled with obstacles.
Additionally, ANHRI is calling on the court to utilize its authority to suspend the sentence until the court of cassation issues its verdict.