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Free Kareem: Egyptian blogger’s sentence upheld

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 12, 2007 03:20 PM

Bad news:

An Egyptian appeals court endorsed a verdict sentencing a blogger to 4 years in prison on charges of insulting Islam and the president.

Judicial sources said Monday an appeals court in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria approved the verdict issued last month against 22-year-old Abdul Karim Nabil Amer. He was convicted on charges of “ridiculing Islam and insulting” President Hosni Mubarak.

Arrested last November, Amer is the first blogger to be sentenced to prison in Egypt.

The Free Kareem website has just issued this press release:

The Free Kareem Coalition is saddened by the Egyptian appeals court’s decision to uphold the four-year sentence handed to Abdul Kareem Nabil Suleiman, better known as Kareem Amer, in February for criticizing the Egyptian government and condemning radical Islam. The interfaith coalition has issues an urgent request to Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak to pardon Kareem as soon as possible.

According to the Coalition’s New York coordinator, Constantino Diaz-Duran, “Kareem’s continued imprisonment will only serve to draw further negative attention to Egypt’s human rights record, which has been criticized recently by the United States State Department; Reporters without Borders; Amnesty International; and Human Rights Watch, among other organizations.” The government of Egypt has offered to host the United Nations Internet Governance Forum in 2009. “Immediately releasing Kareem would show the international community that Egypt is ready to respect freedom of expression and that it can be trusted with a role in shaping the Internet’s future,” said Mohammed Shouman, the Coalition’s Editor and Administrator.

Kareem has been jailed in Alexandria, Egypt, since November 2006. He has been denied access to visitors and his own legal defense team, and his family has publicly denounced him. Because Egyptian prisoners rely on family members to provide clothing and food, Kareem faces a harsh existence without their support. The Free Kareem Coalition is spearheading an effort to deliver food and clothing to Kareem while he awaits release. Donations to the prison aid fund can be made via PayPal at the Coalition’s Web site, www.FreeKareem.org.

Kareem’s supporters can express solidarity in his cause by purchasing “Free Kareem” hats, shirts, and buttons at www.FreeKareem.org. A portion of each sale will go to Kareem’s prison aid fund.

Coalition member Chris Kilmer added that, “While today’s news is undoubtedly frustrating, we believe the continued efforts of well wishers and supporters from around the world can make a difference for Kareem.”

Our democracy-promoters at the State Department should join the call for a pardon.


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Categories: Islam, Repression