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Egyptian Charged For Threatening Facebook Post

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the gotta-be-gentle-with-that-thing dept.

Censorship 101

An anonymous reader writes "The Egyptian Military Prosecution has charged 26-year-old activist and blogger Asmaa Mahfouz for allegedly defaming the country's ruling generals and calling for armed operations against the military and the judiciary. Mahfouz, a prominent activist, was accused of using Facebook to call for the assassinations of Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) members and certain judges."

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Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (5, Insightful)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091562)

Freedom of Speech typically does not permit incitement to violence.

Furthermore, inciting harm to powerful leaders, regardless of motivation or full intent, is probably not wise (and especially so in an unstable nation). And, if you follow through and do so, you best make yourself hard to find, and go completely off grid. Otherwise, you'll likely be caught, and you'll find yourself in a very uncomfortable situation, to say the least.

Freedom of Speech does not protect all speech. It only permits speech that can hurt people’s feelings, but it does not permit speech that can cause objective harm to people’s bodies, possessions or liberty.

Source (for more in-depth reading on the subject): http://www.themoralliberal.com/2011/02/18/on-freedom-of-speech-and-incitement-to-violence/ [themoralliberal.com]

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091604)

Yes, even in the USA this would be illegal.
Although some may feel you should be able to say whatever you want, you would be wrong. As a society feeds off itself for its strength and can deteriorate with its own weaknesses.
This should be apparent and obvious to anyone whom has taken part in a society.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091676)

Although some may feel you should be able to say whatever you want, you would be wrong.

What? They'd be wrong for having a preference? How does that work?

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091728)

Although some may feel you should be able to say whatever you want, you would be wrong.

What? They'd be wrong for having a preference? How does that work?

Their opinion is different from mine, hence wrong.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092682)

If my opinion is that you're not entitled to your opinion, then my opinion is wrong. There's a lot more wrong opinions possible, and wrong opinions held very widely.

BTW, you're entitled to be wrong. You're not entitled to do anything to me that I don't want when you're wrong. Opinions are more complex than just saying you have one, so you're immune to any criticism or limit.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091964)

In the same way that serial killers who feel they should be free to kill whoever they want are wrong - i.e. wrong in the context of the good of wider society. I think that was pretty clearly GP's point since he's talking specifically about society in his post, so I can't imagine why you'd miss... oh wait, it's just cheekyjohnson trolling again.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091974)

since he's talking specifically about society in his post, so I can't imagine why you'd miss

But he didn't specifically mention that, so I just interpreted it as he wrote it. The fact that he mentioned society doesn't necessarily mean that that is what he meant.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092072)

He didn't say that, he said that you aren't free to say "whatever you want". There have always been exceptions to Free Speech, including "Fighting Words", i.e.: Things said specifically to trigger a violent response, as well as things that could directly endanger people's lives (the example usually given is shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater, inciting a stampede). They even have restrictions against "Seditious speech", words intended to incite rebellion against the government, though they are limited to words that pose an "immediate threat". I'm not aware of anyone getting prosecuted for that since the first World War though. Those few things aside, you are legally free to express your opinions in the US, whatever they might be.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092136)

Although some may feel you should be able to say whatever you want, you would be wrong.

To me, that appears as if he's saying that if someone believes that people should be able to say whatever they want without consequence, they would be wrong for thinking that. He mentions feelings and opinions, and then mentions that they're wrong.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092292)

I doubt that's his intention.

I'd guess it was just unclear, and the intended meaning was more along the lines of

"Some might believe... but they would be mistaken."

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092686)

"mistaken" = "wrong"

Except to people who insist that if they call what they think an opinion, it cannot be criticized or its consequences limited. Infantile word games.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37099086)

Yeah, but what I was getting at is that there are a lot over overloaded (in the operator sense of the word. Wow, that's meta...) words in the original statement, and I'm not sure the guy was being the judgmental prick the responders were making him out to be., rather saying that they were factually wrong, rather than morally.

I guess we''ll never know unless he chimes in, though.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (5, Informative)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091736)

Have you read the article?

This was what Mahfouz allegedly wrote, translated from Arabic:
“If justice is not achieved and the justice system fails us, no-one should feel upset or surprised if armed gangs emerge to carry out assassinations. As long as there is no law and there is no justice, anything can happen, and nobody should be upset.”

Sounds a little too vague to me to constitute an illegal threat. Or as Mahfouz herself said:
"There is no truth in these accusations, I was only warning the military council that the absence of justice will lead to chaos."

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091792)

Sounds a little too vague to me to constitute an illegal threat.

Are you basing that on one particular translation or on a sound understanding of the subtle nuances of Arabic?

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091822)

On the translation, since it was what the parent was basing his conclusion on. The burden of proof is always on the accuser, not the accused.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092556)

Har. It's not as if people have been relying for centuries on *a* particular translation of writings containing subtle nuances on important matters, whether the language is Arabic or other languages. In fact, some people seem quite comfortable with grand conclusions drawn from such writings, whether we're talking about Arabic or English, holy books or constitutions. Translators have a genuinely tough job, but even in one's native language it's pretty easy to misinterpret plain language, especially if you have reason to. Worse, sometimes people use homonyms or coded words that people use differently. It's pretty easy to construct a sentence that is ambiguous.

What would be useful is to know what the Egyptian officials bringing the charges interpreted his statement as (their literal translation). Then people could compare that to the original Arabic for themselves and see if it is reasonable or not.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2)

Shompol (1690084) | more than 3 years ago | (#37095328)

I am fully proficient in two languages. Every time some important statement is translated (on Slashdot in particular), dozens of skeptics crop up who question what was lost in translation. The answer is: NOTHING OF VALUE. Seriously. Translation, when performed by a human being, is a much more exact science than you seem to believe.
Of course, there are "subtle nuances" that you speak of, but they are just that -- subtle nuances. They do not change the meaning.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092240)

Oddly enough it could only be counted as a threat if, "The Supreme Council of Armed Forces" fully intend not to provide justice. It would seem by this arrest "The Supreme Council of Armed Forces" intend to become the new autocratic power and deny justice to the citizens of Egypt.

This sort of over sensitivity is just a public display of guilt and criminal intent. It all smells of a military junta, conspiring to create a illusory pretend democracy subject to the approval of Israel and the US, so that the Egyptian military leaders in charge can get their turn at the trough. So how much of Mubarak's stolen billions will return to Egypt and how much will disappear into the maws of American and European financial institutions so that a handful of Egyptian Generals can get a percentage.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092544)

Exactly. It's like me warning white Left wingers that they are going to bring about a civil war between whites and non-whites, through unwanted mass immigration into previously all white countries, and politely informing them that when that happens, BOTH sides are going to be trying to kill them, and they are going to have nowhere to run to.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092660)

As ironic as you are, I believe that statement should be protected by free speech.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091768)

This should be apparent and obvious to anyone whom has taken part in a society.

This society sounds dull and boring. Count me out!

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092080)

Yes, but in the U.S. you would go to a normal court, and you would have the right to a trial by jury. The U.S. government will not be systematically hunt down the prominent activists in the middle of a religious month when the people are distracted, the activists will not be tried in military courts. This is why the United States is a democracy, that's why it's the land of the free, that's why soldiers sacrifice their lives for our security.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (3, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092324)

Yes, but in the U.S. you would go to a normal court, and you would have the right to a trial by jury

Unless, of course, the speaker also happened to be Muslim or had, at some time, walked into the same Starbucks that once employed a known terrorist's father's brother's nephew's cousin's former roommate.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092354)

In the US, public officials have no protection from criticism at all. We can and do call our President, bureaucrats, military officers and elected representatives from the Senate to the dog catcher, all kinds of names. In the case of Generals, only members of the military can get in trouble for criticizing or lampooning them. Civilians can say what they want to. In fact, we require our military members who are leaving the service to use up their leave just so they don't exercise their new-found civilian freedoms on base, in front of their former commanders.

US freedom of speech is limited in the case of yelling fire in a crowded theater and making specific threats of violence. It is completely legal to advocate the overthrow of the government and even call for violence in the abstract. You may be investigated, but you cannot be arrested for excising your freedom of speech (note: there have been periods of time when this isn't true).

Actually taking action to overthrow the US government or participate in acts of violence is illegal.

FAKE REVOLUTION (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 3 years ago | (#37095670)

Stolen by Generals.

"And the men who cheered us on/ Stand in judgement of our wrongs"

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091616)

Newsflash, the usefulness of first post has limits too. You're a douchebag. For more in-depth reading on the subject, consult a gynecologist.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2)

DuChamp Fitz (987592) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091652)

Only he didn't threaten or incite anything.

"If the judiciary doesn’t give us our rights, nobody should be surprised if militant groups appear and conduct a series of assassinations because there is no law and there is no judiciary,” Mahfouz wrote on Facebook, according to the official Middle East News Agency (MENA). Another translation (from Arabic) reads: “If justice is not achieved and the justice system fails us, no-one should feel upset or surprised if armed gangs emerge to carry out assassinations. As long as there is no law and there is no justice, anything can happen, and nobody should be upset.”

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092542)

Only SHE didn't threaten or incite anything.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092636)

Unlike muslim radical and female presidential write-in candidate Munchma Quchi

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37099914)

You're correct. FTA, SHE didn't threaten anyone or incite anyone else to commit acts of violence. She simply predicted that the government shouldn't be surprised if their kangaroo court actions provoked a violent response. This is particularly important now that the previously open and nationally televised trial of Hosni Mubarak and his sons has been closed to cameras and the press. So much for transparency.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091668)

Freedom of Speech typically does not permit incitement to violence.

Actually, if the law simply said that citizens had "freedom of speech" and listed no exceptions, I'd say that would mean absolute freedom of speech. The sole statement "freedom of speech," to me, implies absolutely free speech (but the law can just list exceptions).

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091774)

The American constitution doesn't list the exceptions to freedom of speech, but American courts still assume that things like fraud, slander and yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theatre are not covered by it. Which probably is a good thing.

The European Convention On Human Rights explicitly allows limitations on freedom of speech which are "necessary in a free and democratic society", but it keeps the exception vague and up to the courts to interpret.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091808)

Right. You aren't allowed to falsely shout "FIRE" in a crowded theater. It follows, therefore, that you are also not allowed to advocate opposition to the draft [wikipedia.org]

I feel obliged to point out that this is no longer good law [wikipedia.org]

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091854)

Saying that opposition to draft is a "clear and present danger" is ludicrous. It's, at most, a danger at some other place at some time in the future. Freedom of speech always tends to get mangled during times of war.

Which is one of the reasons we shouldn't allow ourselves to be fooled into believing we are in a war, for example, a "war against terrorism". Politicians exaggerate the external threats to justify impopular decisions.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (3, Insightful)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091878)

Which probably is a good thing.

I don't know about that. Letting them make exceptions as they please (instead of creating an amendment or going through the proper procedures) isn't wise, in my opinion.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092048)

Good point.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092382)

The problem with exceptions as constitutional amendments is that, although they're more difficult to create, they're also more difficult for a subsequent government to remove.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092476)

That's too bad. I'd rather have them be more difficult to remove than let them take the easy way out. And I doubt that there would be a time when they needed removal, anyway. But, if there was, then getting the necessary amount of support would be required. I don't think there's anything bad about that.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091756)

Problem is , what exactly is 'incitement to violence" .
In this case, there's no doubt though : calling to have people executed , is certainly incitement to violence.

It's a thin border , and there are people who will always be incited , regardless of what you say , because they just want an excuse to be violent.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091800)

Having read the article now ( should do that more often ) , i don't think this is a case of 'incitement to violence though' .
He's stating a fact, namely that if you are not giving the people rights , people will eventually take matters into their own hands.

So he's giving arguments for giving rights to people , in order to prevent violence.
This is part of why you have a Constitution : "to ensure domestic tranquility"

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

pnewhook (788591) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092552)

It's a SHE. Why does everyone think the activist is male?

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092664)

Sorry , i couldn't make that out from 'Asmaa Mahfouz' . Again , had i read the article in full, i might have realized that. Guess i'm just lazy today.

Still , that doesn't change anything : she is not inciting violence.
On the other hand, seeing the violence done to women in these countries, i would applaud her even if she did.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091838)

One of the the following statements is an incitement of violence while the other is just expressing a dickish attitude:

The ruling generals are scumbags and it is the duty of every Egyptian to shoot them on sight.

And:

If justice is not achieved and the justice system fails us, no-one should feel upset or surprised if armed gangs emerge to carry out assassinations. As long as there is no law and there is no justice, anything can happen, and nobody should be upset.

Guess which is which. Now guess which one the story is about.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091888)

I'm not sure what's dickish about it ( the second phrase obviously ) : it's a warning , a concern.

You could just as well be saying " If you keep allowing banks to take high risks , don't be surprised if the savings of your people are one day at risk " .
Or , in a more personal setting : "if you keep eating all that junk food , don't be surprised if you gain a few pounds"

He seeing a flawed system, and it's possible results , and he's warning about it. If there were more people like him , the world would be a better place.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092360)

He's also saying that people should not be upset if somebody gets shot. Which makes him a dick in my book.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

kdemetter (965669) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092712)

They shouldn't be upset when someone gets shot , in the same way that someone you warned about eating donuts shouldn't be upset when they gained a few pounds.

In other words : Those that close their eyes when freedom is taken away , do not have the right to be upset when people take matters into there own hands to take them back.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (2)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092932)

Every death is a tragedy. 'Nuff said.

As for your eating analogy, you should read up on how addiction works.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

cavreader (1903280) | more than 3 years ago | (#37096160)

Say what you want but don't be surprised when statements like those posted by the blogger provides the final piece of motivation and justification to those who will gladly start the killing. Freedom of speech in any country has never come guaranteed freedom from risk or consequences. Such as approaching someone in the US and expressing your freedom of speech in their face which they happen to take exception with and end up knocking your teeth out. As long as your speech wasn't physically threatening immediate physical harm you have the ability to address this violation of your rights in court but only after you finish gathering up your teeth laying on the floor. In most of the middle eastern or African countries currently going through upheavals exercising freedom of speech presents a much more dire risk and it requires a substantial amount of courage to attempt to go beyond the current boundaries. A blog post such as the one in question targeted against the US President or high government official might not get you arrested but you would no doubt be getting a visit from the Secret Service so you can clarify your statements and intentions.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Ambvai (1106941) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092718)

I actually find the second one to be more threatening. The first one is just the rant of an angry person while the second shows much more deliberate thought and, to me, has the distinct undertone of a threat.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092948)

You can read a threat into it, but it's not explicitly formulated.

Another way to read it is concern, i.e. he's scared someone might get shot if things continue as they are.

It all depends on context and (the reader's) interpretation.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092128)

"Freedom of Speech typically does not permit incitement to violence."

You're half correct. The limitation that you refer to is speech that is likely to result in "Imminent lawless action". So, saying "SHOOT THAT GUY RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU RIGHT NOW" is probably illegal. However, advocating for an armed rebellion is not "imminent" and would likely be protected. Of course, this limitation only exists on speech in the United States and really has no relevance outside of that context.

"Furthermore, inciting harm to powerful leaders, regardless of motivation or full intent, is probably not wise"
I completely disagree. There's multiple definitions of "not wise". Yeah, speaking out against an oppressive dictator is likely to result in you either getting thrown in a secret jail or shot. However, allowing your freedoms to be trampled and sitting idly by while the government murders innocent civilians is also "not wise".

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092672)

Defaming the generals is within the limits of free speech. Even slander during a revolution seems to stand on what should be a broad boundary line. If you believe everything you hear said about public persons like incumbent generals during a revolution, you're the one doing wrong, not the sloppy speaker.

Calling for violence, especially in a context where you can expect people to answer the call and commit violence, is outside the rightful bounds of free speech. However, during most revolutions people kill and maim without penalty. If their side wins. The day that a revolution tries, convicts and punishes the violent people who caused the victory is the day that humanity has finally taken a step out of the animal kingdom that we like to celebrate as if we did it millennia ago.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

DM9290 (797337) | more than 3 years ago | (#37097238)

The day that a revolution tries, convicts and punishes the violent people who caused the victory is the day that humanity has finally taken a step out of the animal kingdom that we like to celebrate as if we did it millennia ago.

It seems to me that violence is the only way to carry out revolution. If you could use reason, or rational discourse then you would not be living under a tyranny and no revolution would be justified in the first place.

Why would you punish people for defending themselves from a tyrant? Would you punish a woman who used violence rather than rhetoric to defend herself from a rape?

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092890)

Freedom of Speech typically does not permit incitement to violence.

It's not illegal to incite war.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092974)

newsflash: it shouldn't

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#37093424)

If you don't protect speech that could endanger someone's liberty, you won't be protecting speech that could win someone's liberty. Sometimes inciting a riot is exactly what the people need to do.

Re:Newsflash: Freedom of Speech has limits. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#37094664)

Freedom of Speech typically does not permit incitement to violence.

Yes, we should all know our place, and just quietly take it in the ass.

Verbal 'action', as apposed to the physical, is quite ethereal and produces widely variable reactions. Don't attack the messenger.. kill all those who respond.

Anyway, this just shows that this 'Arab Spring' is a load of crap. They just replaced one dictator with another.

Funny (1)

Yo Grark (465041) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091602)

Funny, he didn't look like he was threatening a facebook post at all!

Yo Grark

Re:Funny (1)

mogness (1697042) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091778)

I read that the same way, had a chuckle ;)

Re:Funny (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091782)

"She".

Fascists, or? (1)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091608)

Is anyone really surprised that promoting violent actions on the internet gets the authorities involved? How many incidents has the Secret Service in the United States been involved in since Obama took office? I remember one extremely similar to this in which someone from New Mexico I believe posted on their private Facebook page about hurting Obama, and someone reported them, so the SS "had" to investigate, and it turns out it is like a middle-school kid.

Long story short, if you go posting about how you want to hurt X or Y, even if they're in a country the popular media has on its propaganda of evil list at the moment it is still illegal and immoral.

Re:Fascists, or? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091646)

No everyone who RTFA is surprised because mentioning the possibility of violence is now understood as promoting it.
Twisting words saying you understand them in a threatening way does not mean they were threatening.
The wording was open to malicious interpretation though IMHO.

Re:Fascists, or? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091650)

it is still illegal and immoral.

Ah, it is truly a blessing to be king,

Re:Fascists, or? (0)

ElusiveJoe (1716808) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091660)

Long story short, if you go posting about how you want to hurt X or Y, even if they're in a country the popular media has on its propaganda of evil list at the moment it is still illegal and immoral.

However, it is obligatory that you spend five minutes of hatred on whomever the government tells you to hate, otherwise you're not patriot, or you're even a traitor. Hussein and Bin Laden are already dead, so who's next?

Death to Gaddafi! Go USA!

Re:Fascists, or? (3, Insightful)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091692)

Calling for the assassination of unelected generals who are engaged in an opposition purge as part of a revolutionary strategy isn't evil or immoral.

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!

Re:Fascists, or? (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091786)

And as far as we know, she didn't call for the assassination of anyone; she claims she was only warning against the danger of civil unrest.

Re:Fascists, or? (1)

leromarinvit (1462031) | more than 3 years ago | (#37096568)

Calling for the assassination of unelected generals who are engaged in an opposition purge as part of a counter-revolutionary strategy isn't evil or immoral.

There, FTFY.

The post wasn't a threat (2, Informative)

rebelwarlock (1319465) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091622)

Since no one is reading the article before throwing in their opinion (and thus being wrong, because they just assumed that being accused is the same as being guilty), here's the translation of the post:

If the judiciary doesn’t give us our rights, nobody should be surprised if militant groups appear and conduct a series of assassinations because there is no law and there is no judiciary

That's mentioning the possibility of violence. It is neither calling for it nor encouraging it. What people seem to be doing is taking a prediction as a threat. That would be like me saying, "No one should be surprised if the price of gas goes up" and everyone responding with, "REBELWARLOCK IS THREATENING TO RAISE GAS PRICES".

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091656)

Here's my translation:

If judges don't uphold our rights we should expect our liberators to carry out methodical assassination of the judges listed below. Because if they don't uphold the law these judges should not exist.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (4, Insightful)

Derekloffin (741455) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091672)

You're right, it was a veiled threat... Sadly I can see that actual verbiage being seen as a threat. Predicting violence is the same kind of thing you hear out of your stereotypical mobster muscling a store owner for protection money. In a place like Egypt, making statements like that on the net is just asking for trouble.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091762)

In a place like Egypt, making statements like that on the net is just asking for trouble.

But that was the point of the revolution-- to transform Egypt into the kind of society where a certain amount of freedom was not only tolerated but encouraged.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091788)

You don't know it's a veiled threat, and the burden of proof is, as always, on the accuser.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (2)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 3 years ago | (#37095854)

You don't know it's a veiled threat, and the burden of proof is, as always, on the accuser.
Only in English common law, which Egypt might not subscribe to, so quit your cultural imperialism you insensitive clod!

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091898)

you could argue that doing anything in egypt is asking for trouble, going to church is asking for trouble, doing trade is asking for trouble.

but even TALKING about that it's asking for trouble is asking for trouble in authoritarian regimes(like talking about what powers the kgb had in soviet union got you into trouble with the kgb, like mentioning before a revolt the reasons and events that will take place during the revolt is usually treason in places which are long due for revolt). basically if you can't even speculate what would be the consequences of a crime, then it's no longer lawyers who are upholding the order, if it's backroom deals and lines drawn in water - it's clergy who decides what's ok and what's not as a subject of discussion and that's not freedom of any kind even though the clergy(by whatever name it has) always has a list of reasons why things are like they are, the clergy might be catholic priests, party members, committee of generals, all depending on which nation you take under the looking glass and during which era - what separates it from normal folk is that they discuss in secret and their verdicts are enforced by the state enforcers.

only a state where you can actually discuss revolution openly on coffee tables and yet nothing happens is safe from revolution.

(personally I think it'll take 30 years for egypt to pacify after they get the literacy level and internet penetration to western levels.)

Re:The post wasn't a threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092112)

In a place like Egypt, making statements like that on the net is just asking for trouble.

Double standards much?

What you just wrote is about as threatening as the thing Mahfouz wrote, yet I doubt that you consider what you wrote as illegal.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

Nick Ives (317) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091682)

I think it's fairly obvious that the author was trying to incite further revolution whilst still maintaining a level of reasonable doubt as to whether he was directly calling for it.

Egypt is still in a revolutionary situation; since the removal of Mubarak it's been business as usual. The military administration are doing their best to imprison and otherwise remove dissenters before the change in government in November.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (2)

metacell (523607) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091802)

Obvious? You don't even know what context it was said in, unless you know Arabic and have checked up the original post.

If I say "If Western society continues to respond to terrorism with military means, we shouldn't be surprised if there are even more bombings", is that also an incitement to violence? Should I be arrested for saying it?

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091980)

I think it's also fairly obvious that 'he' is a 'she'.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (2)

adenied (120700) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091784)

What's the world come to? If you make a prediction you get arrested. If you don't make a prediction you get arrested (Italian seismologists).

I'll probably get arrested for making this observation.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092770)

It is walking on thin ice though. Recall in 2010 when one Zach Chesser, a muslim extremist, posted to web forums and blogs that South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker should fear becoming the next Theo Van Gogh for their depictions of mohammed. He went so far as to post the addresses of their offices where they worked as well as their home addresses. Never actually made any direct threats, not a single one. But the implication of what he was doing was quite obvious and he was sent to jail for 25 years.

Re:The post wasn't a threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37092772)

If rebelwarlock doesn't stop reading TFA he's going to get hurt.

I blame the Rosetta stone. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091708)

Had it not been found, nobody would know how to read those pictograms.

Re:I blame the Rosetta stone. (1)

MrQuacker (1938262) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091806)

Just wait until we figure out Linear A. Then we're truly in trouble.

American Revolution and free speech (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091754)

So if the American Colonies had been subject to the same restrictions to free speech that we have now, would the Revolution have even taken place? Did the entire process in fact take place without the lives of a single British citizen or politician being publicly threatened? Is it possible these current restrictions exist precisely to protect the ruling class and prevent or forestall the organization of some future revolution? If a ruling class becomes so criminally tyrannical that the only practical means to change the system they control is by killing the people who control it, don't restrictions on free speech that criminalize discussions of those actions also restrict the ability to carry them out?

Re:American Revolution and free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091796)

Free speech is an illusion

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091812)

I was alluding to that.

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 3 years ago | (#37091804)

Your questions are irrelevant when directed at the ruling class. That's the case here. Of course they're going to protect their own asses.

To your point, though, it's a revolution - the point is to do things the rulers don't like. Whatever free speech laws you perceive to be different now don't matter, because the whole point of the revolution is to shrug of those laws and systems. It's not like a colonist could make threats against the crown within range of loyalists or redcoats and not be punished. But when enough start doing it... the "restriction" begin not to matter.

What "current restrictions" are you talking about, anyway? I'm wholly unsure by the end of your post if you're talking about Egypt or about the USA. If it's Egypt... well, the military is in power. Military types seem to like hierarchies and order. Revolutions are usually pretty messy affairs, it's not exactly insightful to point out that they might want to stamp it out (and keep themselves in power).

Re:American Revolution and free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37091922)

The American Revolution is a poor example; it was more a war of secession then a true revolution. After the American Revolution the British Empire, Monarchy, and Parliament still existed. The colonists did not seek to topple their government, merely to separate themselves from it.

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

petman (619526) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092104)

So I googled for "define: revolution" and guess what? Definition no. 2 is "American Revolution". What's the deal with that?

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092538)

I'm not saying that it wasn't a revolution, just that it's a poor example when discussing how threats to political figures work during a revolution, since it was really an independence movement / war of secession. The colonials did not need to kill/depose George III, or members of parliament, because they weren't trying to overthrow the British government.

If you're looking for examples of a revolution that overthrew the government by deposing the leader (as is the case in Egypt), the French or Spanish revolutions are better examples.

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#37092406)

That depends on your perspective. If you're British, it was a secession. If you look at it from a purely American perspective, it was a revolution.

The same situation exists in China. The pre-PRC political system is still hanging on in Taiwan, but you'd be hard pressed to deny that mainland China underwent a revolution.

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

Jonner (189691) | more than 3 years ago | (#37095162)

So if the American Colonies had been subject to the same restrictions to free speech that we have now, would the Revolution have even taken place? Did the entire process in fact take place without the lives of a single British citizen or politician being publicly threatened? Is it possible these current restrictions exist precisely to protect the ruling class and prevent or forestall the organization of some future revolution? If a ruling class becomes so criminally tyrannical that the only practical means to change the system they control is by killing the people who control it, don't restrictions on free speech that criminalize discussions of those actions also restrict the ability to carry them out?

Only a completely inept government would allow open attempts to overthrow it violently. That is independent of whether it is a generally repressive one or not, since it can't enforce anyone's power or rights if any group could overthrow it on a whim. Of course, those who want it to be overthrown will prefer that it not try to prevent that, but those in favor of it will prefer the opposite. A government which cannot protect itself from violent overthrow is not of any value to anyone. Of course, an anarchist would prefer such pointless governments.

Re:American Revolution and free speech (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#37097530)

I suspect that Jefferson and some of the other founders may have actually had a conversation about how to leave the door open enough in the future for others to be able to do what they were doing. I wonder what Jefferson would think of our tenure as custodians of what they started. Would Jefferson be an NRA member? Would he think our free speech was free enough? Would he applaud the Citizens United ruling?

Major General Adelal-Morsy said... (1)

drobety (2429764) | more than 3 years ago | (#37093284)

Major General Adelal-Morsy said there would be "no tolerance to insults directed at the armed forces."

This is obviously inciting violence against people who protest the armed forces, he should be charged as well.

Re:Major General Adelal-Morsy said... (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 3 years ago | (#37097922)

Is he the very model of a modern major general?
There's something about the word "Supreme" (as in Supreme Council of Armed Forces") that invites a bit of ridicule.

This seems legit... (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37093328)

This actually seems like legitimate response from the egyptian government. It is one thing to say your government sucks...but it is another thing to say "with how much our government sucks, they should be killed by militant groups". While this probably wouldn't cause prosecution in the US unless a specific name is mentioned. 15 days and $3,360 for death threats?

Looks like egypt is going in the right direction. In unreformed countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, China, and Iran even criticizing would have a much largely penalty (eg. months). Death threats would be life in prison.

Cheers to you Egypt!

Re:This seems legit... (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 3 years ago | (#37093510)

Except that what she said was "with how much our government sucks, don't be surprised or upset if they're killed by militant groups". That only sounds threatening when you say it with a gun in your hand.

Re:This seems legit... (1)

aceofspades1217 (1267996) | more than 3 years ago | (#37094396)

Well it sounded more like "they should be killed by militant groups". Either way at least it wasn't "I hate our military leaders". And he didn't get an obscene sentence.

Re:This seems legit... (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#37095158)

The thing about the statement (as reflected in the translations posted) is that if the government does not arrest her, the statement is not a threat, but if the government does arrest her (which it did), it is a threat.
If the government had not arrested her, they could credibly claim that they are in the process of implementing a system to ensure that the judiciary gives people their rights. By arresting her, they are tacitly admitting that they have no intention of giving people their rights.
Of course, anyone who has been paying attention realizes that this is the case. The structure of government power in Egypt has not changed. All that has changed in who is running things and to be perfectly honest it looks like the military is currently looking for someone to take over who can implement a facade of popular support.

Meet the new boss.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#37097164)

..same as the old boss

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