Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Let Alaa Return To Manal

I didn't check the Egyptian blogsphere for a few days; and when I did, I found that Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fatah has been detained for protesting peacefully. It's something we take for granted in the U.S.; but not in a country like Egypt.

Human Rights Watch issued the following press release:

Egypt: Award-Winning Blogger Among New Arrests

(New York, May 10, 2006) – Egyptian security officials arrested 11 more political reform activists, including an award-winning blogger, Alaa Ahmed Seif al-Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. This brings to more than 100 the number of people detained over the past two weeks for exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression.
According to a statement published on an activist Web site, activists detained between April 24 and 27 have begun a hunger strike to protest prison conditions, including threats of torture and ill-treatment.


Sandmonkey writes:

Alaa is a secular democracy activist, and a tireless advocate of freedom, free speech and human rights. He organizes demonstrations and engages in protests against all kinds of injustices in Egypt and is the winner of the international Best of the Blogs award from Reporters Without Borders last December.

Alaa was arrested while protesting to support Egypt’s Judges fight for independence. 2 weeks earlier he had organized a “National Unity” protest to show solidarity with Egypt’s Christians who suffered a sectarian attack on 3 churches on Good Friday. Before that he was one of the few voices that urged calm and peaceful dialogue while the cartoon crisis was hitting its peak. He is a desperately needed voice of moderation and democracy in Egypt, and one of the few flickers of hope in a country whose future seems mire between the crushing rule of the regime and the fanaticism of the Islamist opposition.


HAMSA put an online petition to free Alaa. The petition will be sent to:

Egypt's Ambassador to the US Nabil Fahmy
Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif
Egypt's Interior Minister Habib El Adly
US Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone
US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch

Please, click on this link to sign the petition. It only takes a few seconds to sign the letter that could help release Alaa from prison.

Let's help Alaa return to Manal.

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