- MB Blogs
- September 3, 2007
- 2 minutes read
Hide Your Cell Phone: Digital Activism is Criminalized in Egypt
In June, Egyptian blogger Abdel Monem Mahmoud was released after spending 46 days in prison on charges of belonging to an illegal organization, creating and possessing images destructive to public order, organizing secret meetings with the aim of disturbing public order. But now Global Voices Advocacy reports that he”s under threat again. Monem has been writing about the torture he underwent while in police custody in 2003 and the Egyptian doesn”t like it.
This time a journalist at Al-Ahram newspaper, Ahmed Moussa, is being used as a proxy in the persecution of Monem, a sad case of citizen journalist vs. regime journalist. Moussa is charging Monem with printing false information and seeking to infiltrate the independent al-Dostour newspaper on behalf the the Muslin Brotherhood. (Well done! Discredit an opposition blogger, an opposition newspaper, and an opposition group all in one foul swoop!)
However, his other charges against Monem are more interesting. He is charging that Monem uses digital video cameras and cell phone cameras in his campaign against torture. So now taking part in digital activism is grounds for persecution? If you”re in Egypt, the answer appears to be an unfortunate “yes”.