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Blog in Egypt, Go to Jail:

Raja M. Kamal and Tom Palmer chronicle the plight of Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman, an Egyptian college student who was arrested and convicted for blogging politically unpopular opinions on his blog. He is to be sentenced tomorrow.

Soliman, 22, was expelled from Al-Azhar University last spring for sharply criticizing the university's rigid curriculum and faulting religious extremism on his blog. He was ordered to appear before a public prosecutor on Nov. 7 on charges of "spreading information disruptive of public order," "incitement to hate Muslims" and "insulting the President." Soliman was detained pending an investigation, and the detention has been renewed four times. He has not had consistent access to lawyers or to his family.

Egyptian authorities have made a mistake in prosecuting Soliman. It is Egypt that will be hurt if he is convicted and sent to prison. That's why sincere friends of Egypt call on the government to drop the charges against him. It is the right thing to do, and it is the best thing for Egypt's standing in the modern world.

For more on the case, see here.

Justin (mail):
"Egyptian authorities have made a mistake in prosecuting Soliman. It is Egypt that will be hurt if he is convicted and sent to prison. That's why sincere friends of Egypt call on the government to drop the charges against him. It is the right thing to do, and it is the best thing for Egypt's standing in the modern world."

I hope they don't think the Egyptian authorities are listening. Their views on human rights and political rights are - interesting, and they're not going to be persuaded of taking a more liberal "self-serving" view.

More likely, this kid will spend a few months getting tortured for sport, and then released. Typical for Egypt.
2.21.2007 10:42am
Randy R. (mail):
Exactly. Freedom of speech and use of the internet are vital for a free economy.

Where are all the people that condemn China for doing exactly the same thing? Is it okay that an ally does it, but not China?
2.21.2007 10:43am
plunge (mail):
Destroy evidence, violate due process and lie about the exercise of the right to counsel of an American citizen? Nothing happens: maybe a promotion?

But blowing the whistle on this? Firing, blacklisting, the government pressuring firms to fire you, you get put on the no fly list, holds are placed on you on state bars, and so on.
2.21.2007 12:03pm
Randy R. (mail):
Hey, no body cared when the rounded up the gay partyers a year ago or so. No body cared that they were tortured, humiliated, and harassed.

And we are supposed to be surprised that something like this happens in that society? Shocking!
2.21.2007 5:13pm