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NEW YORK– Demonstrators around the world will protest on February 15th against the continued imprisonment of Egyptian blogger Abdelkareem Nabil Soliman, a 22-year-old student arrested last November for criticizing the Egyptian government on his personal website. Protests will take place in New York City, London, Rome, Paris, Ottawa, Bucharest, Washington, DC, and a growing number of cities, in hopes of persuading Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against Mr. Soliman, also known by his online handle, Kareem Amer.
Kareem, the first person prosecuted in Egypt for Internet-based journalism, has stated that he believes that women and men should be treated equally; that Islamic extremism is hurting Arab society; and that freedom of expression is a fundamental human right. The Internet has made possible the dissemination of these ideals to a global audience. For that reason, some in Egypt evidently feel threatened by Kareem and others who, like him, are not afraid to speak their minds.
This is not the first time Kareem has been arrested. His writings also led to him being expelled from Egypt’s Al-Azhar University earlier in 2006. Since his arrest in November, he has been kept in solitary confinement and has been denied access to his lawyer and to his family. Several Middle Eastern human rights organizations have expressed concern for his life. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders have all condemned his arrest.
The roster of government officials who have written the Egyptian government on behalf of justice for Kareem continues to grow. Last week, three members of the Italian parliament—Antonio Martino, Daniele Capezzone, and Gaetano Quagliariello—sent letters to the Egyptian government pleading for Kareem’s release. In January, two US congressmen, Republican Trent Franks and Democrat Barney Frank, wrote the Egyptian Ambassador in Washington.
Media may contact Constantino Diaz-Duran, Director of the New York Free Kareem Coalition, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on +1 202-288-3328. More information can also be obtained at www.FreeKareem.org.blog comments powered by Disqus