Monday, May 08, 2006

Free Alaa

The Middle East blogs are all over the story of one of our own being arrested in Egypt for a peaceful demonstration in support of an independent judiciary. Some judges have claimed election fraud and the Government’s reaction is to go after the judges and any press who cover the story. Then when Pro-Democracy activist rally to support those judges they themselves are attacked and arrested. Such was the case of Alaa and many others. The whole story can be seen at Manal and Alaa’s Bit Bucket

Just when we get Ganji freed we lose another. At least our friends the Egyptians are heads and shoulders above the Iranians when it comes to freedom of speech. Alaa will not get what Canadian journalist Zahra Kazemi received at the hands of the Mullahs in Iran. However Mubarak is a despot and a free press is the bane of despots everywhere. With Mubarak however there is some hope that bloggers the world over can have some effect. The 5 billion in aid the US gives Egypt each year should give us some leverage if we can convince the Bush administration to push the issue.

Contact the State Department:
US Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20520
Main Switchboard: 202-647-4000

From Sand Monkey:
E-mail them, send them letters, harrass them. The last time you did that we got Abdel Karim released. I am not joking when I tell you that I had information from a source inside that this is the only reason they released him. Too much pressure by the average american and european. The egyptian government is cowardly, they will sucumb to pressure. Tell them that you find his detainment and arrest unacceptable. That you will not set foot in this country, and will tell every friend of yours never to visit Egypt, unless Alaa and the other detainees are released immedietly. That a government that throws people in jail for freedom of speech is not one that will get your money. Tell everyone you know and spread the word. In the words of Tigerhawk: Release the Hounds.

Update from Sand Monkey's site:

US Protests to Free Alaa
They are having many of them tomorrow , so if you are in the area, please go:

Start: 09/05/2006 - 19:30
Location: Egyptian embassy and consulates
Egyptian embassy and consulates in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and San Francisco
Organizer: Activists in the U.S

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