This morning the Washington Post reports Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil, who writes under the pen name Kareem Amer, has been convicted of “insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak.” Nabil has been sentenced to four years in prison.
An advocacy blog,Free Kareem!, vows to continue to fight for the 22-year-old who attended Egypt's Al-Azhar University, an Islamic school. The blog says Nabil’s lawyers will launch an appeal on Saturday with hopes of at least shortening his sentence. The blog lists rallies to be held at Egyptian embassies around the world on Nabil’s behalf.
There’s a June, 2006, article, ‘SOS from an Egyptian blogger’ at Christian Science Monitor, explaining the perils bloggers face in Egypt. The article’s author goes by the pen name Sandmonkey to avoid the very circumstances confronting Nabil.
Sandmonkey says in the month before his article appeared in CSM, the American government criticized Egypt several times for “its treatment of protestors.”
Nothing strikes the core of a journalist more than seeing a fellow writer go to prison for expressing beliefs that harm no one. If Egypt continues to oppress those who are critical of Islam and the government, I hope our own media does what the U.S. State Department did.
We need to protest so loudly and so defiantly that Egypt takes notice: Free Kareem!