Egyptian blogger jailed for speaking his mind…

IT’s being reported that an Egyptian blogger has been jailed for four years for insulting Islam and the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on the Internet. One of his article’s described some of the companions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad as “terrorists”, and has likened Mr Mubarak to dictatorial pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt. If you want to support Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, check out Free Kareem!

  • Well done for highlighting this. It is a tragedy, and such an awful, awful thing. Blogged on it myself earlier.

    I give out a lot about McDowell, and we give out a lot about oppression (800 years of it etc.) but in this day and age, 18 years since the fall of the berlin wall and the triumph (end?) of history and liberalism, we still have this muck to put up with.

    Think of the bravery of these people, like Abdul Kareem Nabeel. Can we even imagine it? We blog to the point of carelessness, maybe. A fleeting nod to the libel laws, perhaps, but that’s about it. We say what we like, when we like, including about Hosni Mubarak. Apparently he called Mubarak a dictator. We call our (Southern) Minister for Justice the Mad Mullah, and laugh about it. We publish pictures of him looking like Hitler, and we roll around in the aisles.

    I hope this man is freed, and I hope he is freed soon. It is a travesty. He’s not the only one, of course. Amnesty have done some great work. It is particularly awful in China.

  • I should add – Amnesty’s campaign, Irrepressible Info has a pledge that any self-respecting member of the blogosphere or blog reader should sign. It basically argues for freedom of speech on the Internet. It’s a simple thing, but will help a lot.

  • BP1078

    Yes, well done Gonzo.

    Last year, due mainly to an unrelenting campaign on the worldwide blogosphere, the Mubarak regime were forced to free another Egyptian blogger, Alaa Abd El-Fatah,whom they’d banged up in similar circumstances:

    http://www.globalvoicesonline.org/2006/05/07/prominent-egyptian-blogger-arrested-and-several-other-activists/

    Everyone interested in keeping the internet as an open democratic tool, one which is available not only to the rich kids in the west but also to those living under oppressive regimes, have a responsibility to keep up the pressure whatever way they can in cases like this.

  • BP1078

    Just seen this:

    Court documents and evidence from human rights groups have shown that Yahoo’s Hong Kong subsidiary, Yahoo Holdings (Hong Kong), cooperated with Chinese police in cases against journalist Shi Tao and political activist Li Zhi, and that material provided by the company may have led to their conviction. Shi was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, Li to eight years

    http://www2.csoonline.com/blog_view.html?CID=28752

    The actions of the big tech companies in helping with state censorship has been disgusting in places like China.