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Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer completes two years in prison, still awaits justice

Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer completes two years in prison, still awaits justice

Press freedom groups have condemned the continued imprisonment of Egyptian blogger Abdel Karim Suleiman, a.k.a. Kareem Amer, who completed two years in prison on Friday.

His lawyers from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) and Hisham Mubarak Law Centre are still waiting the result of an appeal brought before Egypt’s Prosecutor-General. Amer’s lawyers hope to see justice done through this appeal and bring an end to his unjustified imprisonment.

Kareem Amer has suffered many violations against his human rights during interrogations, ANHRI said in a statement. The evidence he presented in his own defence has been ignored as has his request that his lawyers should be present at his interrogation. He was originally sentenced to four years imprisonment, half of which he has already served, and he still maintains his innocence.

Amer was arrested on November 6, 2006 because of articles he posted on his blog (www.karam903.blogspot.com) criticising the authoritarian abuses of President Hosni Mubarak, and the administration of the Sunnite al-Azhar University where he was studying law. On his website he challenged the university’s practice of separating the sexes and he revealed pressure brought to bear on some clerics to support President Hosni Mubarak.

Kareem has delivered a message saying how he is feeling at the moment: " I dream of leaving the prison…but I will never let anybody bargain away my freedom and destiny, even if I am forced to spend my whole life in prison, freedom of my thoughts and my writing are much more valuable to me and I will never bargain them away, whatever the price”. (http://karim.katib.org/node/10)

Gamal Eid, ANHRI Executive Director, who visited Amir in Borg Al Arab prison in Alexandria said: "ANHRI denounces the continuing injustice brought about by delaying the appeal which was presented to the court sixteen months ago. These procedures should not take more than six months. ANHRI call on the public prosecutor to consider the appeal immediately and investigate allegations concerning the torture of Kareem at Borg Al Arab prison."

“Two years have gone by and nothing has changed. His family have never come to visit him. Only his lawyer reports to the outside world, about his morale, which weakens day after day, and his fragile state of health. His parents, probably as a result of intimidation, have even publicly disowned their son and called for him to be sentenced to death. Wardens have prevented him from leaving his cell since 1st September. Two years, that’s enough. It is time to free him," Paris-based Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) said.

"We call on the Court of Cassation to immediately hear this case, which we hope will be overturned based on its merits," Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Executive Director Joel Simon said. "President (Hosni) Mubarak promised in 2004 to reform Egypt's press law and end criminal penalties for the press. We are dismayed that he has not kept that promise."

Date posted: November 7, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 336