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Egyptian dissident blogger’s family renounces him

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By Michelle Malkin  •  February 19, 2007 01:21 AM

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There’s a horrid development in the case of Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, the Egyptian blogger on trial for posting to his website statements calling for equal rights for women and protection of free speech, as well as other statements critical of the Egyptian government and Islam. The Free Kareem website reports:

Reported by Al-Masree Al-Yawm (The Egyptian Today), with thanks to Dalia.

The article is in Arabic. Here’s my translation:

Family of Al-Azhar Student, Accused of “Contempt of Religion”, Disowns Him Before His Court Verdict Session

Written by Nabeel Abu Shal and Tamer Al-Sharqawy
18/2/2007

The family of Al-Azhar student Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, accused of “contempt of religion”, has disowned him before his court verdict session on the upcoming Thursday. His father, a retired mathematics teacher, has demanded applying the Sharia [Islamic law] ruling on him by giving him three days to repent, followed by having him killed if he does not announce his repentance.

The father of the Al-Azhar student, who is accused of contempt of the Islamic religion, harming the reputation of Egypt, and inciting to disrupt the peace and to overthrow the regime, has decided to rescind from boycotting his trial hearing sessions. [He has decided] to attend the court verdict session with his four brothers, who completely memorized the Holy Quran, to announce disowning the accused Abdul Kareem inside the court room, in order to reduce the embarrassment and pressure that civil rights organizations are applying on the court panel.

The father of the accused also described the organizations that are working on having his son acquitted as “monkey rights” organizations, in his own words. He also described his son as the “monkey” who has imitated the atheists of the West in their intellectual thinking.

The family also said that they will announce their disownment of their son on the Internet as well…

I can imagine Kareem’s pain upon learning of such unspeakable betrayal from weak-minded family members.

Sickening.

The London Observer notes a verdict is expected this week and Kareem’s lawyer is not hopeful:

Amer will learn on Thursday whether he faces 10 years in jail, following a trial that has been condemned by human rights groups. He is the first person to be prosecuted in Egypt for online writings; observers fear this may mark a new clampdown on freedom of speech…

…Amer, 22, a former student at al-Azhar University, wrote blog entries criticising Egypt’s al-Azhar religious authorities, President Mubarak and Islam. Charges against him include ‘spreading information disruptive of public order and damaging to the country’s reputation’, ‘incitement to hate Islam’ and ‘defaming the President’.

His lawyer, Gamal Eid, said last week: ‘I am very pessimistic about the verdict, but I have great hope for the appeal.’

Malcolm Smart of Amnesty International said: ‘Karim Amer’s trial appears intended as a warning by the authorities to other bloggers who dare criticise the government or use their blogs to spread information considered harmful to Egypt’s reputation.’

I don’t agree on much with Amnesty International, but their call for the immediate and unconditional release of Kareem is right on.

Where the hell is the State Department?

Oh, there they are–schmoozing it up at the U.S.-Islamic World Forum. Anybody planning on bringing up the plight of Kameer and other Egyptian bloggers behind bars? Eh, Foggy Bottom?

Contact the State Department:

Public Communication Line
(202)647-6575

Office of Public Liaison
Bureau of Public Affairs
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW, Room 2206
Washington, DC 20520-2204

Spread the word:


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