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Egypt court reverses conviction of teacher accused of insulting president

[JURIST] The Adawa court of misdemeanors in the Egyptian city of Menya Saturday reversed the conviction [ANHRI press releases] of Mounir Saeed Hannah, a teacher charged with insulting President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak [official website] by authoring an unpublished satirical poem. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information [advocacy website] represented Hanna in his appeal, emphasizing to the court the responsibility of the judiciary as "the first defense front of freedom of expression." Initially unrepresented by counsel, Hanna was convicted and sentenced in June to three years in prison with a bail of 100,000 Egyptian pounds (US$18,000) after one of his coworkers reported the poem.

In February, the Agouza appeals court overturned [JURIST news report] the one year prison sentences of four newspaper editors convicted of defaming Mubarak and the ruling National Democratic Party [party website], but upheld the approximately US$3600 fines against the men.

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