Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Help Kareem

Egyptian bloggers The Big Pharaoh and the Sandmonkey are among those calling attention to the arrest, for a second time, of a 22 year old Egyptian student and blogger (mainly Arabic) called Abdul karim Suliman Amer, known as Kareem Amer.

According to the Arabic network for Human Rights Information:

Security forces illegally arrested Kareem in October 2005 for twelve days on account of his online writings about the sectarian strife that took place in Alexandria last year. After releasing him Al-Azhar University wherein he is a registered student dismissed him because of his secular thoughts. Afterwards, the university filed a communiqué to the Public Prosecutor Office against Kareem. While prosecutorial interrogations, Kareem insisted on his right to freedom of expression in respect with his secular ideas. Consequently, the prosecutor decided to keep him in custody for renewable four days pending investigation.

Kareem Amer is charged with:

  • Spreading data and malicious rumors that disrupt public security

  • Defaming the President of Egypt

  • Incitement to overthrow the regime upon hatred and contempt

  • Incitement to hate "Islam" and breach of the public peace standards

  • Highlighting inappropriate aspects that harm the reputation of Egypt and spreading them to the public

Nothing harms the reputation of Egypt more than the dismissal from university and subsequent arrest of a young man whose "offence" has been no more than to express his opinion in a blog. The more this is publicised, the more pressure it will bring on the Egyptian authorities. Kareem has been arrested once before, and a campaign helped free him. It can happen again. The campaign website is

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