News

July 29, 2009 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Help for blogger who lost job and home for criticising chemical company


Help for blogger who lost job and home for criticising chemical company Reporters Without Borders is helping Tamer Mabrouk, a blogger based in the Egyptian city of Port Said who was fined more than 6,000 euros in May for allegedly defaming an Egyptian company, Trust Chemical Industries, by posting entries in his blog (http://elhakika.blogspot.com) about its dumping of untreated waste water. “I wanted to create a blog, above all to denounce corruption in Egypt,” Mabrouk said. “It was an attack on President Mubarak in Port Said that made me start the blog, because there was big difference between the official story and what actually happened (…) I then denounced the abuses by Trust Chemical Industries and the problems quickly started. The police arrested the owner of the company that sold me the website. The site is nowadays under surveillance by the police, who can block it and ban it whenever they like" “Then I was threatened with eviction from the apartment I was renting. My wife and I were forced to move because we were put under a lot of pressure. As I had been fired by Trust Chemical Industries, I could no longer pay my rent.” The funds provided by Reporters Without Borders have helped Mabrouk and his family to cope for a few months with the problems caused by his blog posts and his refusal to be intimidated. As well as losing his job with Trust Chemical Industries, he was ordered to pay a fine that is 100 times the average monthly wage. And now he is finding it hard to get a new job because of his reputation for being outspoken. “None of this changes my desire to continue blogging, despite the threats I get,” Mabrouk said. “It is not a personal matter, it is a fight for freedom of expression. It is also a way for me to defend my country against completely unscrupulous companies.” Video in Arabic and French :