Many thanks to the Center for Institutional Analysis and Development (CADI) in Romania who made the Bucharest rally possible. Here are some pictures of the rally followed by a great description from Olga Nicoara, one of the core organizers:
These pictures were taken from Belodvin’s blog:
Flyer used to promote the rally:
Message from Olga:
Dear Friends of the Freedom of Speech/Friends of Kareem,
I am writing to inform you about the Bucharest FREE KAREEM rally, organized by CADI on November 9th, from 12 to 14 pm in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania.
We are thankful to the 17 people who gathered with us for the “Protest of Silence” meant to show solidarity with Kareem Amer, the young Egyptian student imprisoned for blogging his opinions on the Egyptian state and the Muslim religion.
CADI presented the message and arguments of the Silent Protesters in a memorandum also undersigned by Solidarity for Freedom of Conscience, Association Liberalism.ro and CISED and delivered it to the Egyptian Ambassador in Bucharest.
Upon arrival on site, the Egyptian Ambassador kindly invited us inside to discuss the problem. For an hour, Horia Terpe, Executive Director of CADI and myself expressed our concerns to the Egyptian Ambassador to Bucharest, Fawzi Mohamed El-Said Gohar. To the best of my memory, this is how I would structure my recollection of the Ambassador’s in reply:
- Kareem has brought a personal and public offense to President Hosni Mubarak – an act evaluated as being a serious crime under the Egyptian civil laws.
- Kareem also committed crime when he criticized Islam on his blog. An offense brought to the Muslim religion and its icons is an open offense to all the Egyptian Muslims and a violation of their rights. As such, Kareem’s actions escape punishment by the Court.
- Kareem also stated falsehood. There are no conflicts between Muslims and Christians in Egypt.
- Egypt is a sovereign state; therefore no outsider has the right to interfere with its laws, religion, public issues, policies, court decisions, etc.
- Nor should they have an interest. We Romanians should be for example concerned about our crowded streets and advocate for better traffic control.
- No one in Egypt or anywhere else is justified to criticize a certain policy or a court decision issued by an Egyptian justice or. Instead, individuals and NGOs have the option to promote legislative change through other means such as party politics.
- Complete freedom of expression would cause total chaos, and social nightmare. The Egyptian lawmakers specifically design limitations/regulations in order to protect the citizens against themselves. Abusive free expression attacks persons and religion.
- There is no doubt regarding the correctness in the judges’ decision as far as Kareem’s case is concerned. Egyptian judge nor can be suspected of corruption.
- CADI’s own act of pressuring is unjustified as we lack sufficient information regarding Kareem’s case. We ought to do more research on Egyptian legislation and Islam and reflect upon it much longer.
At the end of the conversation, His Excellency promised to pass on our message to Cairo and assured us of his openness to discussions in any future event of this kind. We thank him in return – hoping that we made some difference in the direction we sought – and leave you to reflect on this piece of debate that stands behind Egypt’s act.
We shall continue to militate for Kareem and everyone’s right to express their beliefs.
The Coalition will respond to the ambassador’s claims in another post; in the meantime we would like to thank CADI for making their voices heard concerning the grave injustices that Kareem is being put through simply for speaking his mind.blog comments powered by Disqus