I was very distressed to see images of the Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer in court last week. He has been jailed in disgusting conditions since the 6th of November for blogging! Kareem is being tried for ridiculous charges and faces up to nine years in prison if convicted.
The Economist recently predicted that:
a full return to authoritarian government is on the card for Egypt as promises of reform are conveniently forgotten
In the first days of his detention Kareem managed to blog from inside prison (writing on bits of paper and smuggling them out of jail). He described how an officer pushed him down a flight of stairs after he objected to the confiscation of a pen that he had with him. Kareem is now in solitary confinement and not allowed contact with his lawyers or family. No one knows what kind of treatment he is getting. Egyptian police are known to use all kinds of torture methods, including sexual abuse.
What this means is that any blogger in Egypt could face the same fate and this is definitely the message the Egyptian authorities want to send out.
So if you are a blogger in Egypt, prepare yourself for this. If you find yourself in prison one day and about to be raped, say "Oh fuck, what a week, first I get Aids and now this."
It might save you.
Labels: Life in Egypt