Egypt: Blogger is Released, Court Case to Block 50 Blogs, Press Attacked By Bloggers and More

In this week’s round-up from Egypt, Big Pharaoh is back, bloggers are unhappy with the Press, a blogger who was arrested last week is now free, public opinion is not taken on top movies, and finally a court case in motion to block and shut down 50 blogs and websites.

Big Pharaoh is Back: Egyptian blogger Big Pharaoh who has been away for sometime for work-related reasons is back to the blogoshphere. He is one of the most popular Egyptian bloggers who writes in English. Big pharaoh in this blog post is publishing a video that reveals aggression against citizens in police stations. Bloggers in Egypt are contributing to a campaign against violence by publishing videos shot in police stations. One of those videos led to the trial of one of the police officers who is now awaiting a final sentence in July. Welcome back Big Pharaoh, do not stop blogging!

Bloggers are Unhappy with the Press: Arabawy and Wael Abbass are expressing their unhappiness with one of the Egyptian independent daily newspapers. Al-Masry Al-Youm is one of Egypt’s papers that has won quite good amount of credibility, however Arabawy and Abbass believe that its performance has hit very low rates. Arabawy says:

“What was once my favorite independent daily, Al-Masry Al-Youm has become a nightmare to read, with an increasing tendency towards fabrications and sensationalism…”

Abbass believes that the editorial policy of Al-Masry Al-Youm became controversial and that bloggers’ news is fabricated which was not the case before. He wrote that some articles published recently were belittling the bloggers’ efforts.

Arrested Blogger is Released: Manfe blog reported that Omar El-Sharkway, who was arrested last week, is now free. Manfe wrote a thank you message on behalf of El-Sharkawy to thank everyone who showed him support.

And in interview with Omar on Manfe blog, he says that on the day of the Shura Council elections he finished his work and out of curiosity he went to his polling station with his camera. His intention was to photograph any breaching committed by the security. He took pictures for the employees filling in the voting cards on behalf of the voters. He also took pictures for the security officers hindering citizens from entering the polling station to cast their ballot. On his way out, he said in the interview that he was stopped by a police officer because one of the employees told the officer he was taking pictures for them. And at this point he says “I was kidnapped by the Egyptian police.”

The good news is that Omar El-Sharkawy now is free. I would like to congratulate him on his courage. At the very end of the interview when asked if he will continue to blog and investigate, he answered that he will continue to blog and he wishes that his blog becomes a heard voice to disclose anything that can hurt Egypt.

No Public Opinion on Movies: Zeinobia is commenting on the Egyptian daily newspaper Al-Ahram’s review that picked the top old 15 movies of the Egyptian movie industry based on some critics’ choices. Zeinobia is wondering why comedies are denied. The movie industry has great comedies, according to the blog post. Most of the picked movies are too serious and dramatic. Zeinobia is also very surprised that critics who picked those movies did not consider the public opinion or take the readers’ opinions as the case with most world papers and magazines.

Court case to Block 50 blogs and Websites might be Rejected: And I am ending my weekly round-up on a positive note from Egypt Watchman’s blog. Few months ago, a judge filed a court case to block and shut down 50 blogs and websites because he thinks they threaten Egypt’s interests and bring its reputation down. The court asked for a report to investigate the request and those sites. Egypt Watchman says that the report mentioned that the judge is not entitled to file such a case in court in the first place. He adds that this case is one of the manifestations of the war in Egypt on the freedom of expression on the internet that has started with sentencing Karim Amer to four years in prison and with the recent random detentions of bloggers in Egypt.

I will leave here with this semi-good news and see you all next week!