Jailing of blogger sparks outrage

Groups are calling for the UN to abandon plans to hold an internet governance forum in Egypt.

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By  Administrator Published  March 1, 2007

Egypt's decision to jail a blogger has caused international outrage, with groups calling for the UN to abandon plans to hold an internet governance forum in the country.

The blogger, Abdel Kareem Soliman, was last month sentenced to four years in prison for insulting Islam and the country's president.

On his Google-owned ‘karam903' blogspot site, Soliman had criticised Egypt's top Islamic institution, Al-Azhar University, calling it "the university of terrorism", as well as referring to president Hosni Mubarak as a dictator.

Soliman has been in prison since his expulsion from the university and original arrest in November.

Handing down Soliman's sentence, the Moharram Beik Court's judge explained that the blogger would serve three years of the sentence for insulting Islam and inciting sedition, with an additional year for insulting Mubarak. Soliman's lawyers are in the process of appealing the verdict.

Organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have queued up to attack the decision; Reporters without Borders has branded it a "disgrace".

Reporters without Borders has called on the UN to cancel plans to hold the 2009 Internet Governance Forum in Egypt, claiming that it "would completely discredit the UN process for debating the future of the internet".

Soliman is the first blogger to be sent to prison in Egypt. Three other internet diarists have previously been arrested in the country, but all were later freed without charge.

3853 days ago
Jassim

It is very sad, but I'm not surprised that this was the case in egypt. They never get the Idea that censorship is impossible with the internet. Well, here in dubai Etisalat censors everything on the internet not only Porn, so nothing new here

3856 days ago
stanley dcunha

it is a sad thing that a blogger was jailed in egypt. blogging is only a diary kept out in the open and by jailing the blogger, egypt has shown a weakness and curtailed his freedom of speech

3858 days ago
Neil Ross

So despite all the brave talking and gesturing to the International communityn it would appear the 'Freedom of Speech' is only a myth in some parts of the world and especially on some subjects. 
When will these countires realise that we are not all the same and despite their efforts we can not all be made to think the same.

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