Videos, photos, and statement by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) are provided below. Along with well-known French bloggers, RSF members repeatedly chanted (in French), “Free Kareem Amer!”. The spokesman in the videos says (paraphrase): “There is this postcard image of Egypt, but beyond it are hundreds of political prisoners, as well as imprisoned and harassed journalists.” He goes on to describe Kareem’s case. He stresses that people can and should go to Egypt for tourism, but that they shouldn’t be oblivious to the larger reality. He then segues into talking about dictatorships that are tourist destinations, such as Tunisia and Cuba.
[UPDATE: RSF has its own blog tool; confidentiality of any information submitted by bloggers is guaranteed. The Coalition encourages you to sign up. The funds raised from this blog service enable RSF to help bloggers who are living under in difficult conditions... Bloggers like Kareem.]
Thanks to all those who sent this in!
Photos, courtesy of Reporters Without Borders:
Reporters Without Borders and French bloggers demonstrate at Egypt’s stand for release of blogger “Kareem Amer”
Well-known bloggers living in France and Reporters Without Borders activists demonstrated in front of Egypt’s stand at the world tourism trade fair in Paris today in protest against the four-year prison sentence imposed last month on the young Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, who signs his blogs as “Kareem Amer.”
The protestors attached “censored” computer mice to the stand (see photos), brandished photos of the detained blogger and unfurled banners that said “Egypt = Internet enemy.”
“We want to express our solidarity with Kareem and to show that French bloggers feel concerned by free speech violations, even when they take place abroad,” the bloggers said. “We also want to encourage the French blogosphere, which is one of the most dynamic in the world, to actively support this young man. We could all be in his place if we lived in Egypt.”
The bloggers taking part in the demonstration were : Gilles Klein (www.pointblog.org), Natacha Quester-Séméon (www.memoire-vive.org), Pierre Etienne Pommier (ipol.fr), Carlo Revelli (www.agoravox.fr), Hélène Legastelois (http://monblogdefille.mabulle.com), Christophe Grébert (www.monputeaux.com), Pierre Catalan (http://pierrecatalan.hautetfort.com), Cai Chongguo (http://caichongguo.blog.lemonde.fr) and Laureen Martin (http://leblogmedias.rsfblog.org/).
Suleiman (“Kareem Amer”) was convicted on 22 February of “inciting hatred of Islam” and insulting President Hosni Mubarak. Reporters Without Borders regards his four-year prison sentence as a threatening message to the entire Egyptian blogosphere, which has emerged in recent years as an effective bulwark against the government authoritarian tendencies. For more information on this case.
UPDATE: (March 21)
UPDATE: (March 24)
For those interested, below is another video taken on RSF just before the demonstration.
The lady in the video is concerned about the lack of free speech in certain countries, namely Tunisia and Egypt, where the press is being heavily moderated. She talks about blogs being censored, focusing on Kareem Amer’s prison sentence. The other person later in the video is saying how this is so wrong, and how if they keep this up they will stop a society from thinking.blog comments powered by Disqus