Egypt: Hunt Continues for Blogger Kareem Amer

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

The hunt continues for Egyptian blogger Abdulkareem Nabeel Sulaiman, known as Kareem Amer, who went missing after leaving Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo on February 7.

Kareem Amer

Kareem Amer

Kareem, who had spent four years in prison for an article he published on his blog, was released last November 15. His previous arrest and trial, for insulting Islam and president Hosni Mubarak, as well as his abuse in prison, drew international condemnation and supporters now fear he may have been arrested again.

Netizens report that he was arrested, along with film maker Samir Eshra on Kasr El Nil bridge, and attempts to reach both men have failed.

Reporters without Borders has reported the arrests and called for their release:

Kareem Amer, together with the film-maker Samir Eshra on Cairo’s Kasr El-Nil bridge yesterday evening as they were leaving Tahrir Square. Reporters Without Borders calls for their immediate release.

“Kareem Amer owes his prominence to his virulent criticism of the regime,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We fear the authorities will use this opportunity to send him back to prison for a long time.”

Reporters Without Borders is also concerned about the possibility of reprisals against local journalists, bloggers and fixers as the international media gradually leave Egypt. It appeals for the utmost vigilance and reminds the authorities that they have a duty to guarantee the safety of all the media personnel trying to cover events in Egypt.

BikyaMasr has more:

Colleagues reported seeing him at the demonstrations in central Cairo’s Tahrir Square, but as he was returning home from the day’s protests, he was allegedly detained by police and has not been heard from since.

Dalia Ziada, a leading blogger and writer on Egyptian politics, told Bikya Masr that Amer was “on his way back home at night. He was accompanied by another friend, Samir. Both of them have now disappeared.”

She said that people close to the blogger claim he was ambushed at the Kasr el-Nil exit from the square and kidnapped, although Bikya Masr has yet to confirm details of the alleged kidnapping.

Following are some reactions from Twitter, from the time he has gone missing until now:

@Elazul: Blogger Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman Amer Is STILL missing. Please spread the word like we did about @Ghonim #Jan25 Jan25

@Elazul: @jmayton @SadekHM @cvirus @Ghonim his full name is Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman Amer not Kareem Amer only.

@waelabbas: blogger Karim Amer and independent film maker Samir Eshra arrested

@TarikSalama: @JustAmira Kareem Amer disappeared yesterday around 11h30 PM on Kasr El Nil Bridge with independent film maker Samir Eshra #Jan25 #Egypt

@saraboctor: @SamirEshra Samir is missing since last night @ 11:30 pm, taking kasr el nil bridge with kareem amer, on his way home

@Salamander: If anyone sees kareem amer in #tahrir sq plz let us know #jan25 #tahrir #egypt

@Salamander: Kareem Amer's phone is now switch off, he might have been arrested #jan25 #tahrir

@alnitak250: @Ghonim is free again, but others are still missing. Among them Blogger Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman Amer #jan25 #egypt

Kareem Amer's arrest is part of a targeted strategy by the Egyptian regime to muzzle people and stop them from reporting on the on going protests, now on Day 16.

According to Reporters without Borders, “almost every journalist in Cairo seems to have been the victim of an incident.”

Here‘s a tally of abuses against the Press:

Reporters Without Borders is posting a provisional tally of cases of abuses against journalists and media since the start of the violence on 2 February, above all in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. The tally is far from final or definitive. Additional cases keep on being reported and it is very difficult to compile a comprehensive inventory of the situation. It will be updated as information is received.

Nonetheless, the tally already gives a picture of the incredible scope of the campaign of hate and violence unleashed against the international media. Few news organizations have been spared. Almost every journalist in Cairo seems to have been the victim of an incident.

And here are some of the staggering numbers it provides:

1 journalist dead: Ahmed Mohammed Mahmoud from Al-Ahram
Journalists attacked but not detained : 79
Journalists detained for at least 2 hours : 76
Journalists we don’t have any news about : 1
Case of material harmed and media offices closed : 25
Media the most targeted : Al Jazeera with 3 reporters attacked and 4 detained (all released) + office trashed.
Countries with the most harassed journalists in Egypt : US (29 + a VOA team) France (18) Poland (9) Qatar (7 – all Al Jazeera)

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.


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