Tanta Commercial Court decided on Wednesday to adjourn the case of video blogger Ahmed Anwar until 22 January 2014, when a verdict will be issued. Anwar faces charges of insulting the Ministry of Interior, deliberate provoking of others through the Internet and misusing means of communication.
According to Anwar, the sentences for these charges range between a year in prison and a fine between EGP 25,000 and EGP 125,000.
Anwar posted a video on YouTube in March 2012 which focused on the honouring of several singers and actors for “raising the morale of policemen” by the interior ministry.
In the video, Anwar accused the police of failing to provide security and added facetious captions mocking their “defeat” on 28 January 2011 while criticising their performance since then.
The legal affairs department at Al-Gharbeya Security Directorate filed a complaint against Anwar over the video; after the prosecution completed its investigation it issued an arrest warrant for him on 17 March 2013, referring him to Tanta Partial Court on 27 March.
Tanta Partial Court recused itself for its lack of jurisdiction and referred the case to Tanta Commercial Court on 1 June 2013.
The first session of the Tanta Commercial Court commenced on Wednesday.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) and Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) had released a joint statement on 7 April in which they said they considered the trial “yet another piece of evidence of the Egyptian authorities’ hostility and violations against internet users, in a desperate attempt to silence its critics.”