Sign from a protest, via the Free Kareem site
In chilling news, the Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil was sentenced to 4 years for insulting Hosni Mubarak and Islam. He is 22 years old, two years younger than me. Egypt has a terrible human rights record and this doesn’t nothing to improve their image, or the lives of their people. Nabil wrote a normal Blogger blog. Is Hosni and the Egyptian regime really so insecure that they need to put a young blogger in jail? He has been presiding over a stagnation and running in one man elections for years, but now this? Egypt has a history of routine torture, arbitrary detentions and kangaroo courts, but this is an absolutely brazen stamping on free speech. This is not comment moderation, this is real censorship. More to the point, this is bullshit.
As the Times says:
Nabil, who used the blogger name Kareem Amer, had sharply criticized Al-Azhar on his Web log, calling it ”the university of terrorism” and accusing it of suppressing free thought. He also often criticized Mubarak’s regime on the blog.
In one post, he said Al-Azhar University ”stuffs its students’ brains and turns them into human beasts … teaching them that there is not place for differences in this life.”
He was a vocal critic of conservative Muslims and in other posts described Mubarak’s regime as a ”symbol of dictatorship.”
The university threw him out last year and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.
This is part of a wider crackdown on the nascent (now aborted) democracy movement, which arrested many bloggers. Kareem is the only one to be jailed.
Here’s the Free Kareem website, and his original blog (in Arabic)