CAIRO: Human rights activists staged protests in more than 10 cities around the world on Friday to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the detainment of Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer.
Armed with press releases and signs featuring slogans such as “One year Too Damn Long and “Support Freedom of Expression, activists protested Amer s imprisonment outside Egyptian embassies in New York, Washington DC, Oslo, Brussels, and Berlin among other cities.
The demonstrations were coordinated by “Free Kareem Coalition , an online campaign launched in support of Amer last year.
We stood up for the sake of freedom of speech and we stood up for Kareem, we did last year, we did this year and we would do it again .our hope is that it won’t be necessary and we will celebrate the next World Freedom Day having Kareem free amongst us, Anca, from the activist network Bureaucrash reported from the Washington DC rally.
In Brussels, around thirty representatives from six different local rights groups with the support of Amnesty International Belgium reportedly gathered to rally outside the Egyptian diplomatic representation.
Amer was arrested in November 2006 and subsequently sentenced to prison for four years for insulting Islam and President Mubarak on his internet blog. Amer s sentencing marks the first time Egypt refers a cyber dissident to prison. The case has attracted much unwanted attention to Egyptian authorities from rights groups as well as foreign governments.
We spoke freely to show Egypt they cannot silence free speech. We expressed our views to the press present on location to prove to Egypt that the war of ideas cannot be won by force but by reason and arguments, Anca continued.