Causing offense to Jan. 25 should be criminalized, says NAC
Ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s lawyer Farid el-Deeb - YOUM7/Maher Iskandar

CAIRO: Causing offense to the 2011 January 25 Revolution should be criminalized, according to one of Egypt’s main opposition groups.

Following comments by ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s lawyer Farid el-Deeb Saturday that the revolution was a “conspiracy,” the National Association for Change called on President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to make offending the revolution a criminal offense, Youm7 reported Monday.

In response to Deeb’s comment, the NAC filed a report against him, saying his statements were an “offense” to a great revolution that was praised by the 2014 constitution as well as the June 30 demonstrations.

In Monday press statements, NAC spokesperson Ahmed Taha said the association’s legal team is preparing a legal formula for the report filed against Deeb, which will be submitted to the Attorney General.

Taha demanded investigating anyone who insults both the January 25 Revolution that toppled Mubarak from power and the June 30 demonstrations that led to Mohamed Morsi’s ouster, saying that “this is an offense to the people’s sacrifice and a betrayal to the martyrs’ blood and the injured,” according to Youm7.

Furthermore, he said the association is also preparing a draft law for criminalizing casing offense to the January 25 Revolution, which will then be submitted before President Sisi.

Outrage flooded social media Saturday in reaction to Deeb’s use of the word “conspiracy” to describe the popular uprising that toppled his client.

Human rights activist Gamal Eid said Sunday on his Twitter account, “To Farid el-Deeb: The serious human rights institutions acknowledge that they participated in the Jan. 25 Revolution and are proud of it. They refuse your accusation [which is a] prelude to hit them with the charge of funding the revolution’s youth.”

Well-known political activist Israa Abdel Fatah said she started a hashtag which translates to ‘Deeb’s play,’ and tweeted in reference to it, “when will it end?”

On the other hand, Deputy Head of the Egyptian Democratic Party Farid Zahran told The Cairo Post that the dispute over Deeb’s statement was “just an attempt to escape the main problem, which is the lack of evidence to convict Mubarak.”

He further explained that there is a deliberate attack on the Jan. 25 revolution, as “Mubarak’s men who are assuming positions in many state institutions are trying to defend [Mubarak] and the former regime.”

However, Zahran said, he is against any law that would curb freedom of opinion and expression, adding that Deeb is a lawyer and lawyers can say anything in the context of defending their client to guarantee acquittal.

Additional Reporting by Eman Ali and Mostafa Abdel Tawab

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