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Blogger Jailed For Insulting Islam, Mubarak

From those defenders of the faith at the BBC:

 

Egyptian blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil, 22, is escorted by police officers from a police van and towards a court house in Alexandria, Egypt Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007..

Egypt blogger jailed for ‘insult’

An Egyptian court has sentenced a blogger to four years’ prison for insulting Islam and the president.

Abdel Kareem Soliman’s trial was the first time that a blogger had been prosecuted in Egypt.

He had used his web log to criticise the country’s top Islamic institution, al-Azhar university and President Hosni Mubarak, whom he called a dictator.

A human rights group called the verdict "very tough" and a "strong message" to Egypt’s thousands of bloggers.

Soliman, 22, was tried in his native city of Alexandria. He blogs under the name Kareem Amer.

A former student at al-Azhar, he called the institution "the university of terrorism" and accused it of suppressing free thought.

The university expelled him in 2006 and pressed prosecutors to put him on trial.

During the five-minute court session the judge said Soliman was guilty and would serve three years for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, and one year for insulting Mr Mubarak.

Egypt arrested a number of bloggers who had been critical of the government during 2006, but they were all subsequently freed.

Hafiz Abou Saada of the Egyptian Human Rights Organisation called the sentence "a strong message to all bloggers who are put under strong surveillance".

The UK-based organisation Amnesty International said the ruling was "yet another slap in the face of freedom for expression in Egypt"

Note that the BBC couldn’t bring itself to report just exactly how Mr. Soliman "insulted Islam." Apart from mentioning his remarks about the university.

Hafiz Abou Saada of the Egyptian Human Rights Organisation called the sentence "a strong message to all bloggers who are put under strong surveillance".

The UK-based organisation Amnesty International said the ruling was "yet another slap in the face of freedom for expression in Egypt".

What courage.

Thanks goodness we have such "rights groups" to really lay it on the line.

And note that the rest of the media is so outraged by this case they can’t even decide what the gentleman’s last name is — Nabil (AP photo) or Soliman (BBC).

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, February 22nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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