Thursday, February 22, 2007

Karim Amer sentenced to Four Years

Blogger Karim Amer today was sentenced to four years in jail for "disparaging remarks about Egyptian President Mubarak," according to Egyptian activists. This very troubling result will bring about a further chilling climate for free speech and democratic activism, both online and in other public venues. Amnesty International has declared Karim to be a prisoner of conscience. In today's statement, Amnesty condemns the conviction.

"This sentence is yet another slap in the face of freedom of expression in Egypt," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Middle East and North Africa Deputy Programme Director. "The Egyptian authorities must protect the peaceful exercise of freedom of expression, even if the views expressed might be perceived by some as offensive. Amnesty International considers Karim Amer to be a prisoner of conscience who is being prosecuted on account of the peaceful expression of his views."

"It is a gloomy day for all the advocators of freedom of expression not only in Egypt but also in the whole world," Gamal Eid, HRinfo Executive director said. "When a young man is punished for having secular views in a country claiming respect to citizens' right to freedom of expression, it is a catastrophe. The democratic countries all over the world have already expelled such charges from their laws".

For a fuller update on the case, click here.

All activists are urged to take action. Once again the key places to protest are with the Egyptian ambassador.

Ambassador Nabil Fahmy
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Court N.W.
, Washington, D.C., 20008


The embassy e-mail is

Habib Ibrahim El Adly
Minister of the Interior
25 Al-Sheikh Rihan Street
Bab al-Louk


Counsellor Mamdouh Mohyiddin Marie
Minister of Justice
Ministry of Justice
Midan Lazoghly

You can also support Karim by adding comments to his website, or by adding comments to the Free Kareem website here.

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