In Prison for Blogging
Egyptian blogger Abdelkareem Soliman, known online as Kareem Amer, is facing nine years in prison for such free-speech "crimes" as "spreading data and malicious rumors that disrupt public security," "defaming the president of Egypt," "incitement to overthrow the regime upon hatred and contempt," and "incitement to hate Islam." Before his arrest in November, he had been expelled from college because of his political blogging. His case demonstrates the abyssmal state of basic liberties in Egypt. It also challenges the self-importance of bloggers: Can, in fact, this new medium generate public interest and support for one of its own? Pajamas Media has covered the case here, and Tom Palmer has made freeing Soliman a major cause.
There will be a rally at 3:30 today outside the Egyptian consulate in Manhattan (2nd Ave. between 58th and 59th) in support of Soliman. For more information, visit the Free Kareem site. (Thanks to Todd Seavey for the tip.)