ATTN NYC Reasonoids: Help Free Kareem

|

There's a protest scheduled this afternoon in support of imprisoned Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer, who has been held since November as a threat to "national security" for publishing unpopular opinions:

Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer's trial is scheduled for this Thursday. An informal group of New York City residents are joining together in solidarity for a peaceful protest of the government of Egypt's treatment of Kareem, and to plead for all charges against him to be dropped. The protest has been organized for this Wednesday, January 31 at 3:30pm, in front of the Egyptian Consulate in New York.

Kareem has been imprisoned in Alexandria, Egypt, since November, after posting to his website statements calling for equal rights for women and protection of free speech, as well as other statements critical of the Egyptian government. He has been denied bail and faces a long prison sentence if convicted of the charges held against him. The New York group is trying to mobilize the national news media in hopes that increased visibility of Kareem's circumstances will pressure the Egyptian government to act responsibly.

The Egyptian Consulate in New York is located at 1110 2nd Avenue, between E. 58th and E. 59th.

Come out if you can; sign the petition if you can't.

NEXT: Also, the Sky Is Blue. Water's Wet. The Pope, Catholic. And Bears Shit in the Woods.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Ummm yeah. This appears harmless, as far as it goes. But I don’t see how this could make an iota of difference to anything.

  2. Warren says:

    This appears harmless … But I don’t see how this could make an iota of difference to anything.

    It’s called Name, Blame, and Shame. By blowing the whistle on the Egyptian government, you undermine their efforts to appear like a modernizing, progressive, quasi-liberal government. You show them for the petty tyrants that they are.

    Then what?

    Well, maybe during the next appropriations hearing in Congress a few human rights-minded Congress critters say something like, “Hey, how come you put people in jail for having contrary opinions? Why are you abusing Kareem? Why should Congress support a government like yours?”

    Similarly, you could raise the prospect of them losing private Foreign Direct Investment as some companies might think that the PR hit they take for dealing with Egypt isn’t worth it.

    Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t. But it’s worth a shot because there’s a blogger rotting in prison in Egypt and that’s wrong.

    The goal is both (1) to free Kareem himself and (2) marginally raise the price of cracking down on free speech.

  3. Speaking of being “a threat to ‘national security’ for publishing unpopular opinions”:

    U.S. loses 20-year attempt to deport 2 immigrants

    A federal immigration judge has dismissed the government’s attempt to deport two men who were arrested along with six other U.S. residents because of their alleged ties to Palestinian terrorists and who fought relentless efforts to force them to leave the country for 20 years.

    Judge Bruce E. Einhorn of Los Angeles, in a ruling made public Tuesday, said the government had violated the constitutional rights of Khader M. Hamide and Michel I. Shehadeh by its “gross failure” to comply with his instructions to produce “potentially exculpatory and other relevant information.”

    In a scathing decision, Einhorn said the government’s conduct in the case was “an embarrassment to the rule of law” that left “a festering wound on” Hamide and Shehadeh, who have been in legal and personal limbo for two decades.

  4. That terrible Egypt… it is not like you can go to jail for making political statements in the U.S… oh wait, you can, never mind!

  5. Well, I’m going to check it out, even if it will be as effective as the Libertarian Party on election day.

  6. Warren,

    This is basically the whole theory behind what Amnesty International does. Governments try to do this to their political enemies in secret for a reason: they want to appear like progressive, benevolent leaders and don’t want people to know that it takes a heavy hand for them to stay in power.

    So Amnesty publicizes these cases, and blankets the government in question with letters, thus making them aware that there are people out there who know what they’re doing. Does it always result in the freedom of the prisoner? Of course not. But sometimes it does. And many times it results in better treatment for the prisoner than they would have otherwise had, and it discourages them from undertaking additional abuses.

  7. A questionable government using the security card to detain people who publicly dissent.

    Surprise, surprise.

    I’m sure our AG could explain why it’s ok and why we should adopt the measures here.

  8. How could Egypt have gotten this bad, they don’t even have a libertarian party/group to make excuses and provide cover for conservative stalinist takeovers.

    I guess Egypt shows there ARE other ways for anti-freedom religious conservatives to come to power rather than taking the power under the argument of smaller government can only be accomplished by bigger meaner government.

    Who woulda thunk it?

  9. Ooops. It turns out my boss wanted me to work. Bastard.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.