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Kareem Amer free at last!

November 17, 2010

Photo: Michael Connors

On Monday 15 November, Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was finally set free. Kareem is believed to have been imprisoned longer than anyone else in the world for the contents of a blog. He was held for 1470 days, and the Egyptian authorities kept him for 10 days after he had officially completed his four-year prison term.

Of course, Kareem should never have been arrested in the first place. All he ever did was exercise his right to freedom of expression, as guaranteed (at least in theory) by the Egyptian constitution. And of course, Kareem is not the only Egyptian suffering grave injustices for speaking their minds. Egypt still has a long way to go before freedom of speech is a real human right and not just words on a paper.

On the other hand, Kareem Amer is only one of many brave Egyptian bloggers, journalists and human rights activists willing to pay the price for this freedom.  And today, he is indeed free. At last.

UPDATE: Amnesty International has called on the Egyptian authorities to investigate allegations that Kareem was detained without charge, beaten and abused by SSI officials during the 12 days before his release.

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