Thursday, July 16, 2009

Egyptian Poet Gets Stiff Sentence

CAIRO, July 14: An Egyptian civil servant who wrote a satirical poem about veteran President Hosni Mubarak has been jailed for three years after a colleague turned the villainous verses over to the authorities.

Mounir Said Hanna Marzuq was given the maximum sentence for insulting the head of state, a judicial source said on Tuesday, in one of the poems he wrote for friends in the hope that one day they would be turned into song.

Marzuq was jailed in Maghagha, southern Egypt, in May after a colleague lodged a formal complaint about the poem deemed insulting to Mubarak, in power since 1981.

The case came to light after the penalised poet’s brother appealed to the 81-year-old Mubarak for clemency, the independent Al-Masri Al-Youm reported.

The newspaper did not publish the offending verses.

Egyptian law says that anyone insulting the president can be jailed for between 24 hours and three years.

Read it here.

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