Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 16:44 UK

Egyptian editor verdict condemned

Supporters campaign for Ibrahim Eissa
Campaigners have demonstrated against the jailing of Ibrahim Eissa

Press freedom activists have condemned Egypt for jailing a newspaper editor who printed rumours about the health of its 80-year-old president.

The Committee to Project Journalists expressed dismay at how the judiciary was used to "settle scores" with those critical of President Hosni Mubarak.

The editor, Ibrahim Issa, received a two-month jail sentence on Sunday.

The court said reports in his newspaper, al-Dustour, were likely to disturb public security.

"We are dismayed by the Egyptian government's determination to jail our colleague and to keep using the judiciary to settle scores with journalists who criticise President Mubarak," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon.

Mr Issa was convicted in March and given a six-month sentence by a lower court for publishing stories saying Mr Mubarak's health was deteriorating.

On Sunday, the appeals court upheld the verdict but reduced the sentence by four months.

State Security prosecutors had been seeking a heavier sentence, considering the initial penalty to be too lenient.

They said the false health rumours had prompted investors to take $350m (172m) out of the Egyptian economy in less than a week.

Mr Mubarak has held office uninterrupted since 1981. Correspondents say he has no obvious successor and any speculation about his health is a very sensitive topic in Egypt.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific