25 May 2007
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Sign the Petition for the Release of Egyptian bloggers

Six months after the arrest of Kareem Amer, Reporters Without Borders has launched an international petition calling for the blogger's release and that of another Egyptian blogger Abdul-Moneim Mahmud.

Adel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, better known by the pen name Kareem Amer, was arrested on 6 November 2006, for articles published on his blog (http://www.karam903.blogspot.com). He frequently attacked the authoritarian excesses of the government of Hosni Mubarak and criticised the country's top religious authorities, particularly the Sunni University Al-Azhar, where he was studying law. Suleimann was sentenced on 22 February 2007 to three years in prison for "inciting hatred of Islam" and one year for "insulting" the Egyptian president. The sentence was upheld on appeal on 12 March.

Abdul-Moneim Mahmud Abdul-Moneim Mahmud, who runs the blog Ana Ikhwan (http://www.ana-ikhwan.blogspot.com), was arrested on 14 April 2007. He has been accused of membership of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, but his detention appears to be linked to articles and photos he posted online and his work exposing torture committed by the security services.

The Paris-based press freedom organisation, RSF has launched a petition on http://www.rsf.org.

Below is the text in which the worldwide press freedom organisation calls on the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), a conference organised under the UN mantle, to block Egypt from hosting the event in 2008 unless the two bloggers are freed.

Text of the petition:
"We call for the release of Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman (Kareem Amer) and of Abdul-Moneim Mahmud, who have been imprisoned for expressing their opinion online. We urge the organisers of the Internet Governance Forum to intervene with the Egyptian authorities on behalf of these two bloggers. It would be intolerable for a UN summit on the future of the Internet to be held in a country which imprisons bloggers".

You are welcome to sign the petition which will be sent, on 6 November 2007, exactly one year after the arrest of Kareem Amer, to Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, to Executive Coordinator of the IGF, Markus Kumar, as well as to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.