Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Egyptian Bloggers fear new precedent emerging

With the imprisonment of 22 year-old blogger Abdel-Karim Suleiman for four years, many of Egypt’s 5,000 bloggers are wondering what the future may hold, according to an article published by The Washington Post Monday. Suleiman, previously a law student at al-Azhar Islamic University, accused the institution of promoting extremism and called some companions of the Prophet Mohammad terrorists. In addition, he likened President Hosni Mubarak to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

In Egypt, blogs are an outlet for causes not usually addressed by the traditional media, including Christian issues. The Egyptian government is defiant and claims that their policies and actions are an internal matter, as they brush away criticism from human rights groups. However, since the arrest of Suleiman, many bloggers are beginning to fear what may become of them at the hands of their government. Tellingly, Reporters Without Borders has added Egypt to its Internet Black Holes list.

The blogging community has played an important role in getting important stories into the mainstream in recent months. They are responsible for disseminating footage of police officers sodomizing a bus driver, and they have brought attention to incidents of sexual harassment of women in Cairo.

To read this article, click here.


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