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BLOGGER NAILED, BAIL FAILED & JAILED

February 22nd 2007 22:20
Blogger jailed for insulting Islam
February 23, 2007 - 12:50AM

* Now he does his blogging in the showers
An Alexandria court convicted an Egyptian blogger yesterday for insulting both Islam and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and sentenced him to four years in jail over his writings on the internet.


Abdel Karim Suleiman, a former law student in his early 20s, was the first blogger to stand trial in Egypt for his internet writings. He has been in custody since November over eight articles he wrote on his blog since 2004.

Rights groups and opposition bloggers have watched Suleiman's case closely, and worried the conviction could set a legal precedent limiting internet freedom in Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country.

"It's a dangerous precedent because it will impact the only free space available now, which is the internet. The charges were undefined and vague," said a fellow blogger who attended the trial and runs the sandmonkey blog.

"Tell me. What does insulting the president mean? What is the difference between criticising religion and being in contempt of religion?" he added, asking to remain anonymous.

The internet has emerged as a major forum for critics of the Egyptian government to express their views in a country where the large daily newspapers and main television stations are state-run.


Suleiman, a Muslim and a liberal, has not denied writing the articles but said they merely represented his own views.

One of his articles said that al-Azhar in Cairo, one of the most prominent seats of Sunni Muslim learning, was promoting extreme ideas. Another article, headlined "The Naked Truth of Islam as I Saw it", accused Muslims of savagery during clashes between Muslims and Christians in Alexandria in 2005.

Suleiman has also denounced Mubarak, likening him to the dictatorial pharaohs who ruled ancient Egypt.
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Comments
16 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by Shapelle Corby

February 22nd 2007 22:22
Bloggs are for nerds.
Real crims write books!

Comment by Wendi

February 22nd 2007 23:41
Makes me even more grateful for the right of free speech. Just imagine how many US or Aussie citizens would be arrested and imprisoned if voicing our political opinions were illegal!

Comment by Joe Blogg

February 22nd 2007 23:53
Yep.
Thankfully the Orble community practices Freedom Of Speech.
Well, at least 99% of it does.

Comment by katyzzz

February 23rd 2007 01:40
There are well placed restrictions on what bloggers loosely call "freedom of speech"

To deny this exhibits both ignorance and lack of intelligence.

The party is over for Bloggers to show no self restraint.

Well expressed, well founded opinions are not at risk, and I do not know enough of this case to formulate an opionion, as I feel is the true situation with most bloggers.

There are laws which must not be violated, irrespective of personal views and one blogger on Orble did try to explain the situation.

There was enough there to sound caution to indiscriminate abuse.

May those who abuse accept the consequences.

katyzzz

Comment by Wendi

February 23rd 2007 01:47
Katyzzz -

Are you suggesting people shouldn't be allowed to express their opinions about political leaders?

I know how you feel about censorship already, that's been made clear in other posts regarding profanities and questionable material... but does that extent lead to not being able to voice opinions, even if not well founded?

Help me here, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

W

Comment by Joe Blogg

February 23rd 2007 02:00
Haha.
There NEVER has been Freedom Of Speech on
ANYTHING!
It's just not possible.
But the world is full of wankers who practice double standards & hide behind crap like FOS when it suits them.

(BTW, I'm not referring to you katyzzz)

As for laws not being broken.
Being gay used to be a crime.

"......... this exhibits both ignorance and lack of intelligence."
- Forget FOS. This applies to 80% of blogs in general!

Haha


Comment by katyzzz

February 23rd 2007 04:15
Well expressed, well founded opinions are not at risk,

Would anyone want to offer an opinion that is not well founded, just ask them, it is well founded in their eyes.

katyzzz reply to Wendi......EVERY opinion carries its own bias, unquestionably. There is no such thing as an unbiased opinion.

Comment by Wendi

February 23rd 2007 04:21
I agree, but unfortunately that doesn't answer my question. *SMILES*

I'm not trying to rumble, I promise - I'm not picking on you. I'm just trying to understand your position based on your comments.

"There are laws which must not be violated"

Are you suggesting people shouldn't be allowed to express their opinions about political leaders?


Comment by KylieW

February 23rd 2007 04:45
I think I agree with you JB. There's never really been true freedom of speech. Though when someone can get locked up for having a point of view.....things have gone very wrong.

And you make a very good point. There's a whole lotta shit that was once illegal and now isn't. If nobody had broken the law back then it'd still be illegal to be gay, and African-American's would still be segregated. To blindly follow along just because something is the "law" can be just as dumb as breaking the law


Comment by Peter Green

February 23rd 2007 05:59
I agree with Bloggs.
Freedom of Speech has never existed in any format.

Comment by DuskDevi

February 23rd 2007 06:30
There's a difference between free speech and cheap talk.

And people also hide behind their blog tags.

Comment by yoda76

February 23rd 2007 10:29
And people also hide behind their blog tags.
...or their rugby merchandise... ;o)

IMHO, people should be able to say what they want, cheap talk or otherwise, providing it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others in any way.

People with half a brain tend to not pay attention to rubbish.

Nice post Joe.

Comment by JoshZ

February 23rd 2007 12:18
There has always been freedom of speech. What we don't have is the freedom to say what we really want to.

JZ

Comment by Bhumika

February 23rd 2007 19:36
egypt is a dictatorship..no doubt about it. mubarak never liked any one who disagreed with him or challenged him. he is very much like the lunatic in north korea..

Comment by David

February 23rd 2007 19:44
Bloggs ...

There are no restrictions placed on what bloggers loosely call "freedom of artistic expression"

To deny this, exhibits both ignorance and lack of intelligence.

The party is over for Bloggers to show no self restraint with their artwork.

If only some bloggers stuck to their day jobs (or got one?), and refrained from expressing their ignorance and unfounded opinions, I would not take the risk of commenting on your Blog, and I do not know enough about Trash Art to formulate an opionion, as I feel is the true situation with real artists.

There are principles of Art which must not be violated, irrespective of personal views by one blogger on Orble, and many people have tried to explain this to her, but apparently? ... Nothing will change the situation ... Bitterness reigns supreme?

There was not enough in the pictures to sound caution to indiscriminate abuse to those who do not know what true beauty is.

May those who abuse Art accept the consequences.

David ...

Comment by MaaUpma

February 24th 2007 09:25
I have always found that negative comments about any religion results in public outcry.

In times of furore, the end result cannot be predicted and can result in such extreme situation like imprisonment.

My only message to all bloggers is to be extra sensitive when commenting negatively about religion.

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