Permission to Dissent


Egyptian activist Saad Eddin Ibrahim, arrested three years ago on trumped-up charges of fraud, publishing false information, and receiving foreign donations without permission, has been acquitted by Egypt's highest criminal court. Neil Hicks of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights says the verdict "will provide hope to independent activists in Egypt that the judiciary can still uphold the basic rights and freedoms they need in order to carry out their work."

Still, the case is a reminder that America's allies in the war on terrorism don't necessarily respect freedom or the rule of law any more than its enemies do. Egypt looks enlightened and tolerant compared to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan.