Kareem Amer one year in prison
On 22 February 2007, Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil , better known as Kareem Amer¹, was found guilty of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak, and sentenced to four years in prison. One year later, Kareem is still in prison. In letters to his legal counsel, he has written about being beaten on 24 October 2007, as well as witnessing another prisoner being stripped naked and beaten.
Amnesty International considers Kareem Amer to be a prisoner of conscience, and described the sentence as “yet another slap in the face of freedom of expression in Egypt“. The organization has condemned the sentence, and calls for Kareem’s immediate and unconditional release. Awaiting his release, Amnesty International has called for an investigation of Kareem Amer’s ill-treatment in prison and for appropriate measures to be taken to ensure his safety and security.
Sadly, Kareem is far from the only Egyptian imprisoned and beaten on account of the peaceful expression of his views. However, his case is a very significant one for Egyptian bloggers, and for bloggers everywhere. Kareem is the first blogger subjected to a prison term by the Egyptian regime, and his case should be seen as a warning of what awaits bloggers all over the world if we do not stand up and fight. More and more oppressive regimes are now targeting bloggers in their attempts to curb criticism and limit free speech. Therefore, it is more important than ever that bloggers stand up for each other and show clearly that this cannot be tolerated.
¹ Also spelled “Karim Amer”