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Thursday, November 03, 2005

Egyptian Blogger Arrested
(scroll down for updates)

Egyptian blogger Abdolkarim Nabil Seliman who runs the blog Kareem Amer was arrested on October 26h from his home. According to his family, his arrest might be a result of his writings. His brother said that Abdolkarim has a tense relation with Islamists in his hometown of Alexandria. He added that the Islamists might be the ones behind filing a complaint against his brother.

I didn't know Abdolkarim's blog before. I visited it and discovered something very strange. Abdulkarim apparently comes from a Muslim background (he has a Muslim name) yet his writings contains remarks that attack Islam. His writings drew many negative comments on his blog.

Abdolkarim could be a convert to Christianity or someone who left the Muslim faith, and I was stunned when I saw that he posted his picture on his blog. Anyway, he will be in a very serious situation if a case was levied against him. If sent to court, the charge of "izderaa el adyaan" or "blaspheming religion" can be applied leading to his imprisonment.

Check out Manalaa blog and read the comments below (there are comments in English). You will notice that there are 3 types of comments: those against his arrest, those hailing the arrest of the "infidel", and those who disagree with Abdolkarim's opinions yet are against his arrest.

Update: Abdolkarim's story is picking up international attention.

Here is a report from the Jerusalem Post. And another comprehensive story from the Associated Press:

"It is the first security crackdown on an Egyptian blogger, a growing community that has flourished in Egypt over the last couple of years. "

Sandmonkey offers analysis here.

The bloggers campaign to free Abdelkarim:



Update: Committee to Protect Bloggers has updates here. Up till now, as far as I know, only the Jerusalem Post and the AP reported this story.

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