For most people living in the United States of America -- certainly for me as a 57 year old white male -- my freedom of speech is protected by custom as well as by law. When I choose to make a personal statement on an issue, publicly so -- be it the unchecked abuse of drugs and alcohol in the teenage population of my town Hull, Massachusetts, or the continuous closed-minded exclusiveness of my country’s Commander-in-Chief, George Herbert Walker Bush, or a human rights abuse far removed from my daily concerns, Kareem and Monem -- I do so without fear. At least, that is, without the fear of violent retribution that others in the world may very well experience when they make their personal views public.
Though many of us can publicly identify ourselves in support of Monem, I know there are many more that can not do so without taking an exceptional risk. There needs to be an online space where anyone, anywhere can anonymously make a simple statement, "I’m here. My friends and I continuously watch how you treat each other, presenting yourself to the world. We’d like to know, Is there anything we can do to help you?"
I’m new to wiki, but it seems to me, Understanding Egypt might be a way to include the silent majority of global voices.
Let’s see how it goes.
Hull, Massachusetts, USA
2007 May 4
The creation of and participation in this public space: Kareem Amer and Abdul-Monem Mahmoud
As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day an Egyptian blogger, Abdel Monem Mahmoud, sits in jail, his only crime his desire for a more open Egyptian society. We cannot let the regime succeed in silencing him. We have to show the Egyptian regime that when you imprison a blogger, you don’t silence his voice, you AMPLIFY it! How? By taking action! Here’s what you can do.
Reporters Without Borders / Internet Freedom desk: EGYPT
PETITION FOR RELEASE OF BLOGGERS KAREEM AMER AND ABDUL-MONEIM MAHMUD
Language: français - Arabic: 070506petition_arabe.rtf
Six months after the arrest of Kareem Amer, Reporters Without Borders has started a petition calling for the blogger’s release and that of his colleague Abdul-Moneim Mahmud.
Internet-users are being asked to sign online, in which the worldwide press freedom organisation calls on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a conference organised under the UN mantle, to block Egypt from hosting the event in 2008 unless the two bloggers are freed.
Sign the petition : http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=21993
Text of the petition:
"We call for the release of Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman (Kareem Amer) and of Abdul-Moneim Mahmud, who have been imprisoned for expressing their opinion online. We urge the organisers of the Internet Governance Forum to intervene with the Egyptian authorities on behalf of these two bloggers. It would be intolerable for a UN summit on the future of the Internet to be held in a country which imprisons bloggers".
The petition will be sent, on 6 November 2007, exactly one year after the arrest of Kareem Amer, to Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, to Executive Coordinator of the IGF, Markus Kumar, as well as to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.
Adel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, better known by the pen name Kareem Amer, was arrested on 6 November 2006, for articles published on his blog (www.karam903.blogspot.com). He frequently attacked the authoritarian excesses of the government of Hosni Mubarak and criticised the country’s top religious authorities, particularly the Sunni University Al-Azhar, where he was studying law. The blogger was sentenced on 22 February 2007, to three years in prison for "inciting hatred of Islam" and one year for "insulting" the Egyptian president. The sentence was upheld on appeal on 12 March.
Abdul-Moneim Mahmud, who runs the blog Ana Ikhwan (www.ana-ikhwan.blogspot.com), was arrested on 14 April 2007. He has been officially accused of membership of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, but his detention appears most likely linked to articles and photos he has posted online and at his work exposing torture committed by the security services.
First organisations and bloggers who signed the petition:
- The Free Kareem campaign (www.FreeKareem.org)
- Free Monem (http://freemonem.cybversion.org/)
- Alaa & Manal (http://www.manalaa.net)
- HAMSA initiative of the American Islamic Congress (www.hamsaweb.org)
- Dalia Ziada (http://daliaziada.blogspot.com)
- Milton Mueller, partner, "Internet Governance Project"(www.internetgovernance.org/)
- Ethan Zuckerman - My Heart’s in Accra, htttp://ethanzuckerman.com/blog
- Soci of Singabloodypore at http://singabloodypore.rsfblog.org
- Christophe Grébert (http://www.monputeaux.com)
- Le réseau webcitoyen.com
- Olivier Grobet (Humanitaire.ws)
- Christophe Ginisty (http://www.ginisty.com)
- Cristiano de Sá Fagundes (www.e-squina.blogspot.com)
- Nicolas Vanbremeersch (www.versac.fr)
- Pierre Catalan (http://pierrecatalan.hautetfort.com)
- Sami Ben Gharbia (http://www.kitab.nl/)
- Solana Larsen (http://www.solanasaurus.com)
- Dan Larsen (http://www.blogbyblog.dk)
- Hervé Resse (http://blog-hrc.typepad.com/ressepire)
- Florentine (http://www.Florentine.typepad.com)
- Andriy Ignatov,Maidan International (www.activist.org.ua/eng/)
- Fred de Mai (www.fdmai.com)
- Jon Lebkowsky (http://weblogsky.com)