Zaman arrest Ozan Kose/ Stringer via getty images

Diffamation et développement dans le monde arabe

AMMAN – Le radicalisme violent et les guerres civiles au Proche-Orient et en Afrique du Nord qui retiennent l’attention internationale, font oublier que la région abrite des systèmes juridiques nettement faussés. Pourtant les lois problématiques comme celles qui criminalisent la diffamation, qui facilitent la répression politique et économique, nuisent au développement – et détruisent des vies.

L’Égypte est sans doute le gouvernement qui abuse le plus des lois relatives à la diffamation et au blasphème dans le but d’étouffer des positions divergentes. En particulier, les autorités égyptiennes se sont servies impudemment de l’article 98(f) du Code pénal égyptien – qui interdit aux citoyens de critiquer une « religion sacrée », suscitant ainsi des affrontements interconfessionnels, ou de proférer des propos offensants à l’égard de l’Islam – pour appréhender, traduire en justice et incarcérer des membres de minorités religieuses, particulièrement des chrétiens. Une vague accusation suffit pour que leurs activités soient jugées comme nuisibles à l’« harmonie collective ».

En outre, l’écrivain Ahmed Naji a récemment reçu une peine de prison de deux ans pour « outrage à la pudeur », en publiant un extrait sexuellement explicite tiré de son roman. Ce verdict est tombé un mois seulement après que l’écrivaine Fatima Naout ait porté en appel la peine de trois ans qu’elle avait reçue pour un message sur Facebook où elle critiquait le sacrifice d’animaux pour la grande fête musulmane de l’Aïd. Elle a été jugée coupable d’« outrage envers l’Islam ». La liste des abus est longue.

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