Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

Two years for a blog : that's enough !

Publisher Reporters Without Borders
Publication Date 5 November 2008
Cite as Reporters Without Borders, Two years for a blog : that's enough !, 5 November 2008, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Reporters Without Borders today renewed its call for the release of Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer, aged 24, sentenced in 2006 to three years in prison for "insulting Islam" and one year for "insulting the president", who will have served half his sentence on 6 November 2008.

"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", the worldwide press freedom organisation said.

Kareem Amer was arrested on 6 November 2006 because of articles he posted on his blog ( 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 Mubarak.

"One year has gone past and I am still deprived of my freedom. The pain of the experience has taught me that no feeling is as bad as that of injustice", he wrote from his cell on September 2007. "Enemies of freedom, symbols of oppression [...], know that your days are already clouding over. The dawn of future generations is coming. Tomorrow belongs to us", he ended.

Egyptians alone represent almost 30% of the region's bloggers. Most of them are human rights activists, victims of ever harsher methods of dissuasion. Egypt figures prominently on Reporters Without Borders' list of "Internet Enemies". Since this summer, bloggers wanting WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) network access have to provide their email address and their mobile phone numbers before getting access to the World Wide Web. These are vital bits of information for advertisers, spammers ... and security agencies.

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