New Medium, Same Censorship

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, and for the occasion Issandr El Amrani contributed this great piece at the Guardian‘s Comment Is Free blog, about the threats faced by Egyptian journalists and bloggers. Here’s an excerpt:

Although it took time, Egypt’s zealous security services have begun to catch up with bloggers, as in the case of Abdel Kareem Soliman, a Muslim who lambasted his co-religionists after sectarian clashes in his hometown of Alexandria. Soliman ended up being sentenced to four years in prison for an anti-Muslim post he wrote, becoming a poster child for online freedom of speech. A few months later, Abdel Moneim Mahmoud, an Islamist blogger, was in turn arrested. While earning much less media coverage – as Islamist political prisoners generally do – Mahmoud’s case has now rallied much of the Egyptian blogosphere.

That unusual show of support for an Islamist in Egypt’s secularist-dominated blogosphere came in recognition that Mahmoud had broken ranks with the powerful political movement to which he belongs, the Muslim Brotherhood, and voiced support for Soliman despite disapproving of what he wrote.

Please read the article in full here.


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