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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blogger In Egypt Faces 10 Years In Prison

A blogger in Egypt is jailed and faces up to 10 years in prison for his writings.

Karim Amer is the first Egyptian blogger to be tried for writing blogs criticizing Egypt's al-Azhar religious authorities, President Husni Mubarak and Islam.

Charges against him include "spreading information disruptive of public order and damaging to the country's reputation," "incitement to hate Islam"and "defaming the President of the Republic," according to human rights group Amnesty International, which is calling for Karim Amer's release.

"Karim Amer's trial appears intended as a warning by the authorities toother bloggers who dare criticize the government or use their blogs to spread information considered harmful to Egypt's reputation," says Malcolm Smart, director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Program. "This is particularly worrying as bloggers have increasingly been posting information about human rights abuses in Egypt, including torture and police violence against peaceful protesters."

Eqypt is a top recipient of U.S. aid.

Karim Amer was first detained by the Egyptian authorities for 12 days in October 2005 because of his writings on his blog about Islam and the sectarian riots which took place in the same month in Alexandria's Maharram Bek district. These riots followed reports that the video of a play believed to be anti-Islam was being screened in a Coptic church in the district, Amnesty International says.

After he was charged and released, disciplinary measures were taken against him and he was dismissed from al-Azhar University in March 2006. The university's disciplinary board found him guilty of blaspheming Islam, Amnesty International says.

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Blogger Paris David said...

This is absolutely amazing that a blogger could face jail time. Thanks for the heads-up about this story, Scott!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Scott Nance said...

Your welcome, Paula. Let's hope the situation in this country doesn't deteriorate to that level. It's interesting to note that that is what goes on in Egypt but Egypt is a top recipient of U.S. aid.

9:41 AM  

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