Egypt: A Week of ‘Bad News’ for bloggers

Last week ended up with a number of bad news for some Egyptian bloggers. Diaa Eddin Gad from Sawt Ghadeb (Angry Voice), is harassed by State Security police

Diaa, who was released last March after being arrested and ill-treated, told Global Voices in a phone call, that a force of State Security raided his house two weeks ago, and searched his apartment, and the whole building where he is living. He said:

I was out when the police broke into the house. I find no explanation for searching the whole building, but terrifying the neighbors. State Security officials summoned me, more than one time.

Another blogger was banned from traveling, Abdel Mone'm Monieb the owner of a blog called Nahw El- Tagdeed (To Innovation), was traveling to Lebanon, where he was supposed to appear on a TV interview to discuss his book ‘A Map of the Islamic movements in Egypt’. He was stopped in the last minute and did not manage to catch his flight.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), the publisher of Monib's book, considered this banning a flagrant violation of basic human rights and citizenship, and said in a statement:

ANHRI strongly condemns such intimidation attempts and illegal pursuing of released political prisoners. The network also denounces the detention of the writer and denying him his right to travel and move. Such measures and continuing pressures on the writer are a deliberate violation of the human rights

Meanwhile in Alexandria, the blogger Kareem Amer is passing his 25th birthday behind bars, as sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment in 2007. Because of his posts on the blog, he was accused of defaming the president and insulting Islam.
Kareem, now in Borg El Arab prison in Alexandria, reports to his lawyers that he is steadily being exposed to violation of his rights from prison officers who told him they will carry on “until you go back on what's in your head”.

What seems to be positive this week was a court decision to stop the detention order for blogger and activist Mus'ad Abu Fagr, which means that he should be released immediately. Abu Fagr, who is blogging on Wedna Ne3eesh (we just want to live), has been arrested since 26 December 2007.

Even the decision seems to be good news, Abu Fagar still in prison. The Ministry of Interior used to issue a new detention order after every decision by D.A to realse him.

Meanwhile, the prominent politician and former candidate for presidency Ayman Nour, held a conference in solidarity with the blogger Tamer Mabrouk, who was fined with L.E. 2500 (446 USD), and civil compensation of L.E. 40.000 (7272 USD), because of some writings on his blog Al-Hakika Al-Masreyya (The Egyptian Truth)

Nevertheless, the conference took place in Port Said (Suez Canal), where Mabrouk is living. It was not only to support Mabrouk, but other bloggers were also mentioned. The invitation to the conference reads:

Ayman Nour, the head of Al-Ghad party invites you to attend a conference in solidarity with the blogger Tamer Mabrouk and all opinion prisoners
As not to repeat the misery of Mohammad Adel, Kareem Amer and Mus'ad Abu Fagr.

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