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Prominent Egyptian blogger arrested and several other activists

Originally by Socrates

Alaa Abd El-Fatah, one of the Egyptian political activists, and one of the first bloggers in Egypt was arrested today together with around ten more activists during a peaceful demonstration in solidarity with sixty activists who were arrested over the past two weeks in a non-violent sit in, as well who were held in custody for two weeks under investigation for “crimes” that if anything would raise only mockery including, humiliating the president, possession of “publishing equipment”(graffiti spray) and blocking traffic.

Let Alaa return to Manal

The first group of activists arrested two weeks ago was supposed to have their cases reviewed by prosecution today, so as to release or renew holding them under investigation. In solidarity with them 200 lawyers approached as a defense council, a number of judges, and a number of activists among whom were Alaa and his colleagues gathered around the court house.

Authorities denied the activists entry to the court house, in addition to attempting to present the “detainees” files only, and not the detainees themselves to prosecution. For hours, Alaa and his fellow activists shouted slogans against the government, sang and showed solidarity with their detained fellow activists. At the end of the demonstration police forces surrounding the group increased, refused to let them leave and started picking those to arrest, Alaa and ten others. They were taken to the nearby police station were they were denied lawyers, or any visitors. Lawyers are now standing outside the station just monitoring in case the arrested activists are taken somewhere else, which is exactly what happened. Three of them were taken blindfolded to another police station and were released later.

The latest attacks of Egyptian authorities rose to squash public support for the demands of Egyptian Judges for complete independence of the judiciary authority, which had the executive authorities interfering with its work for decades to forge elections, detain opposition leaders and punish voices that rise against decades of ruling under emergency law. Judges also demanded an investigation in the forgery of last elections. To shut them up, in a step with illegal procedures, the government, represented by the ministry of justice, referred two of the judges leading the movement to the validity committee. Judges had an open sit in their club (syndicate) for weeks now, the sit in that was supported by another sit in by Egyptian activists from Kifaya (enough), Al Horreyya Alan (freedom now), El Ghad party in addition to other movements and independent individuals outside the judges syndicate. For three days in a raw, police forces, assisted by thugs, attacked the activists sit in late at night, brutally beat the demonstrators and each time arrested a group of the demonstrators. At the first night: April 24th, police forces brutally beat up a judge, a court president. 60 activists were arrested in these attacks: among them Malek Mostafa , Mohammed Sharkawy and Mohammed Adel who are fellow bloggers. Mohammed Adel is a minor and is held in a regular prison facility. The arrested group has started an open hunger strike in solidarity with the demands of the judges and in protest for the continuity of their detention.

Alaa is one of the most active people working to support the blogosphere in Egypt. Coupled with his wife Manal, their “Bit Bucket“, is the aggregator collecting almost all Egyptian bloggers. He won the special Reporters Without Borders – DW Best of Blogs award in 2005 and was previously interviewed on Global Voices. He is one of the people that the Egyptian blogosphere success and latest wide spreading is indebted to.

13 comments

  • […] Alaa, of the Manal & Alaa blogtivist duo, was arrested at a protest in Cairo today. Not good. Read more here. If you are in the US then please bombard this email address with complaints: embassy@egyptembdc.org , and address it to Ambassador Nabil Fahmy. […]

  • Open source comrade detained

    One of the friends I most enjoyed meeting at Africa Source II was Egyptian open source developer, blogger, and activist Alaa Abd El-Fatah. He’s being detained for 15 days for being involved in a peaceful demonstration (in support of others being deta…

  • […] Even as Hao Wu is still held by the authorities, a prominent Egyptian blogger Alaa is held by the authorities in his country. The Skeptic writes When I first met Alaa in the summer of 2005, I told him I was worried the government would crack down on the Kifaya protesters after the elections, when the world’s attention was elsewhere. I asked him if he was worried about what would happen if that came to pass: Many of the protesters were young, they had never been in jail, they didn’t know what could happen to them. He said he believed that it was too late for the government to put an end to the protests, that once people had tasted a bit of freedom, the regime couldn’t roll it back. […]

  • […] Alaa Abd El-Fatah, an Egyptian political activist and one of the first bloggers in that country, was detained on Sunday during a peaceful demonstration in support of 60 activists who’ve been arrested over the last two weeks. […]

  • Suppport imprisoned Egyptian blog evanglelist and netactivist Alaa Abd El-Fatah

    http://static.flickr.com/44/143341993_7a83bce645_o.png
    During the time I was researching burqas, islamic traditions and feminism in the Middle East for Don’t hate her because she’s beautiful … and wears a burqa, I had stumbled upon Alaa Abd El-Fata…

  • […] For blogger Ala’a Abdulfattah, who was himself imprisoned last year for his political activism, it is the one year Kareem was sentenced for insulting the President that struck a raw nerve. عبد الكريم خد 4 سنين حبس […]

  • My name is Cecilia Jamasmie, Associate Editor for Orato.com, a citizen journalism news Web site based in Vancouver, Canada that aims put a human face on the news by showcasing vivid, first-person stories from individuals involved in current events. Whether it is politics, sports, entertainment, science, love or war, we aim to capture news in its rawest form and be a celebration of every person’s right to be heard in their own words.

    We’d like to help Egyptian bloggers to put the word out there and we were wondering if you or any other Egyptian blogger you know would like to write a story about the imprisonment of Kareem.

    Thanks in advance,

    Cecilia Jamasmie
    Orato.com
    “First Person True Stories From Real People”

  • […] Majuzi, mwanablogu Kareem Sulaiman wa Misri alihukumiwa kifungo cha miaka minne jela kutokana na kuandika mawazo yake kwenye blogu yake. Bonyeza hapa uone blogu yake. Pia unaweza kufuatilia habari zake kwenye tovuti ya kampeni ya “Free Kareem.” Hii sio mara ya kwanza kwa wanablogu nchini Misri kupata misukosuko toka serikalini. Soma hapa yaliyotokea mwaka jana. Bonyeza hapa usome zaidi kuhusu kisa cha Kareem toka Global Voices Online. […]

  • […] For bloggeren Ala’a Abdulfattah, som selv ble fengslet i fjor for politisk aktivisme, er det det ene året Kareem fikk for å ha fornærmet presidenten som var mest sjokkerende: Det fortelles om en mann som en dag bestemte seg for å forsøke å bli president. Det hemmelige politiet fanget ham og spurte om han var en idiot. Mannen svarte: Er det et krav? Jeg skulle ønske at de som arbeider mot Abdul Kareems rettssak og fengsling kunne fokusere litt mer på denne detaljen om at han skal tilbringe et år i fengsel for å fornærme presidenten (…) Jeg håper du tenker på hvor mange andre mennesker i Egypt denne unnskyldningen vil bli brukt mot når en dom som denne kan avsies uten noe særlig støy. […]

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