Saturday, May 5, 2007

Support petition for release of Eyptian bloggers

I got an e-mail recently from the Reporters Without Borders / Internet Freedom desk (blog), appealing for the release of two Egyptian bloggers now facing imprisonment for opinions expressed and exposes made in their blogs.

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Six months after the arrest of Kareem Amer, Reporters Without Borders has started a petition calling for the bloggers release and that of his colleague Abdul-Moneim Mahmud.

Internet-users are being asked to sign online, in which the worldwide press freedom organisation calls on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a conference organised under the UN mantle, to block Egypt from hosting the event in 2008 unless the two bloggers are freed.
Sign the petition : http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=21993

Text of the petition:

"We call for the release of Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman (Kareem Amer) and of Abdul-Moneim Mahmud, who have been imprisoned for expressing their opinion online. We urge the organisers of the Internet Governance Forum to intervene with the Egyptian authorities on behalf of these two bloggers. It would be intolerable for a UN summit on the future of the Internet to be held in a country which imprisons bloggers".

The petition will be sent, on 6 November 2007, exactly one year after the arrest of Kareem Amer, to Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, to Executive Coordinator of the IGF, Markus Kumar, as well as to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

"Kareem Amer"
Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, better known by the pen name Kareem Amer, was arrested on 6 November 2006, for articles published on his blog (http://karam903.blogspot.com). He frequently attacked the authoritarian excesses of the government of Hosni Mubarak and criticised the country's top religious authorities, particularly the Sunni University Al-Azhar, where he was studying law. The blogger was sentenced on 22 February 2007, to three years in prison for "inciting hatred of Islam" and one year for "insulting" the Egyptian president. The sentence was upheld on appeal on 12 March.

Abdul-Moneim Mahmud
Abdul-Moneim Mahmud, who runs the blog Ana Ikhwan (http://ana-ikhwan.blogspot.com), was arrested on 14 April 2007. He has been officially accused of membership of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, but his detention appears most likely linked to articles and photos he has posted online and at his work exposing torture committed by the security services.

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Manuel L. Quezon III during iBlog3 encourages the growth of political bloggers that are not affiliated with any politician or working in the media. This is a leadership role that every blogger can take on. He encourages bloggers to ask and answer the question as to why are we still here in a situation within our countries. Politics is a human activity where personalities and issues are always involved. It is important for bloggers to find out and ask questions on what people are thinking, what matters to them, their concerns, opinions, and observations. He encourages bloggers to be a fighter of freedom of expression.
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