Group Calls On 'Internet Enemy' To Release Blogger - InformationWeek

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12/18/2006
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Group Calls On 'Internet Enemy' To Release Blogger

Egyptian law student has been imprisoned for six weeks

Reporters Without Borders is calling for the release of a 22-year-old Egyptian blogger and law student detained by authorities for six weeks.

Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, also known as Kareem Amer, is accused of inciting hatred of Islam and "circulating rumors threatening public order." He was held for 18 days in October 2005 and arrested again on November 6, 2006.

Reporters Without Borders claims that the postings criticized the government for religious and authoritarian excesses. Most of the blog postings are in Arabic but an English-language profile shows Amer's interests include defending women. His blog links to the Arab Women's Solidarity Association, the Historical Society of Jews from Egypt and a site that aims to stop censorship in Bahrain.

Amer described himself as a down-to-earth law student who looks forward to helping fight all forms of discrimination by opening his own human rights law firm. He said the main goal would be to defend the rights of Muslim and Arabic women against all forms of discrimination and to stop violence.

Reporters Without Borders said authorities denied Amer access to lawyers during questioning Dec. 6, and a judge renewed a two-week detention. The group said Amer is detained about 100 miles from Cairo, with common-law prisoners in "harsh" and unhealthy conditions

"The imprisonment of this blogger, who represents no threat to national security, is unacceptable," the group said through a statement released Monday. "His outspokenness may not be popular and he has to take responsibility for his comments, but keeping him in custody without trial is a disgrace for Egyptian justice."

Reporters Without Borders said Amer's detention shows that Egypt deserves to be on its list of the "13 Enemies of the Internet." Last month, the group added Egypt to a list of Internet enemies, which includes China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Vietnam, among others.

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