Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Take Action to Defend Human Rights Blogger


Alaa Ahmed Seif al-Islam, a twenty-four-year old Egyptian blogger, was detained in central Cairo on May 7, 2006 while taking part in a peaceful protest in support of two judges threatened with removal from the bench for exposing electoral fraud and also to call for the release of protesters detained in earlier demonstrations.

Click here to take action to defend Alaa Ahmed Seif al-Islam through Human Rights First, a group dedicated to helping human rights defenders.

More Egyptians are turning to the Internet to build a civil community independent of government control and to share information about democracy and human rights. And the government is taking notice. This isn't the first arrest of an Egyptian blogger. In November, authorities arrested blogger "Kareem Amer" for his writings about Islam. He was also fired from his university.

These two arrests raise the concerns that led Amnesty International UK to launch a new site called "irrespressible.info." The purpose is to harness the international community to protect the Internet as a tool for human rights, to call attention to abuses of the Internet by governments and to tell the stories of human rights defenders working online. One section is dedicated to online comments that governments have attempted to censor. I've added a feed of these comments in the right-hand column of this blog.

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