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.
Even though the republic of Egypt is supposedly governed by a multi-party semi-presidential system, President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak has ruled with near dictatorial powers since 1981.
Mubarak did win the 2005 presidential elections, but not necessarily without a little help from his friends. Election observers have accused the government of fraud and vote-rigging, and reported police brutality and violence by pro-Mubarak supporters against the opposition.
Will the upcoming parliamentary elections in November and the presidential elections next year be any freer and fairer, or will democracy continue to diminish in 2011?
In February 2007, Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman was convicted of insulting Islam and President Hosni Mubarak and sentenced to four years in prison, after being held for months without charge. This November, Soliman, better known as Kareem Amer, or just Kareem, will have completed his prison sentence. According to Freekareem.org, the website of the Free Kareem Coalition, his lawyers note that he would be released on the 5th of November.
Etter det Aftenposten kaller en storm fra passasjerer, har byråd Jøran Kallmyr (Frp) og Ruter tatt til fornuften og gjort helomvending i Flexus-saken. Byråden og transportselskapet avlyser nå alle planer om å innføre gebyr for passasjerer som ikke “validerer” kortet før hver reise med T-bane, buss eller trikk.
– Vi har helt gitt opp å tenke på bøter, og har helt gitt opp å tenke på å innføre andre typer sanksjoner, sier Kallmyr til Aftenposten.
– Det er viktig å snu i tide. Jeg er overrasket over folks reaksjoner, og motstanden er større enn vi trodde. Ruter har fått et omdømmeproblem, og Flexus er blitt et belastet prosjekt, konkluderer han.