[JURIST] Human rights groups have condemned the decision of the al-Warraq Misdemeanor Court in Egypt to sentence controversial newspaper editor Ibrahim Eissa [al-Ahram profile] to a year in prison for publishing a report critical of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak [official profile]. The case against Eissa, the former editor of the independent weekly al-Dustour, arose from an April 2005 report on one lawyer's attempt to sue Mubarak and his family for corruption, including the alleged misuse of foreign aid for private gain. Another journalist also received a year-long sentence in the Eissa case. Eissa is free on bail pending appeal.
The Committee to Protect Journalists and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies [press releases] characterized the sentences handed down Monday as an assault on Egypt's independent press. Mubarak has previously pledged to decriminalize press offenses [JURIST report], but has yet to do so. VOA has more.