Abdul Kareem Nabil Suleiman (Kareem Amer)

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***UPDATE: We were delighted to learn that our Honorary Member Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer was finally released, ironically on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer – 15 November 2010, 10 days after the expiry of his sentence. For more information, please see http://www.freekareem.org/2010/11/16/kareem-amer-is-free/)***

 

D.o.B.: c. 1984, Egypt

Profession: former law student at the Al-Azhyar University in Alexandria, Egypt. Amer is an Internet writer, publishing articles on his blog.

Date of Arrest: Amer was arrested on 6 November 2006.

Sentence: On 22 February 2007, Amer was sentenced to four years in prison: three years for insulting Islam and one for defaming the Egyptian president, Mubarak.

Sentence Expires: 5 November 2010

Details of Trial: Refusing to retract the articles he posted on his Internet blog (www.karam903.blogspot.com), Amer was detained in a prison in Alexandria. His detention was extended until his trial in January 2007. His hearing began on 25 January 2006, and was adjourned until 1 February 2007. He was accused of insulting Islam and the President, inciting hatred towards Muslims, and circulating rumours that could disturb public order (this charge was dropped). He has made an appeal but the Court of Appeal upheld the original four-year sentence on 12 March 2007.

Place of Detention: Amer is being held in Borg El-Arab Prison in Alexandria, Egypt.

Conditions of Detention: It is reported that Amer has been receiving numerous death threats and has suffered from physical violence from prison guards. In letters sent from prison in November 2007, Amer alleges that a tooth was broken during a beating and then transferred to a disciplinary cell where he received further beating and was denied sufficient food and water. According to a lawyer from the Arabic Network for Human Rights, who visited Kareem Amer on 30 August 2008, he is in a poor state of health and continues to be ill-treated in jail. HE must follow the strict rules that apply to political prisoners during visits, although he remains in the criminal prisoners division, where he is treated without he is treated without any consideration of his rights as a political prisoner. Reports suggest that the prison administration does not allow him to go to the prison yard as others do, and that fellow inmates harass him under orders of the prison administration. 

Other: He was previously held for 18 days in October 2005 for his articles on Islam and his coverage of sectarian riots in Alexandria, six at Alexandria’s state security department, and twelve in jail. These articles prompted an investigation and led to his expulsion from Al-Azhyar University in March 2006 after its disciplinary board found him guilty of blasphemy against Islam.

Professional Details: Kareem Amer was a former law student at the Al-Azhyar University until his critical online articles led to his expulsion. He is known for his secular views and his critical writings about Islam and Egypt‘s highest religious authorities.

Award: Kareem Amer was awarded the journalism award of the 7th Annual Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards on 14 March 2007, and was adopted by the United Nations Working Group on Arbritrary Detention on 23 March 2009.

Honorary Member: English Pen, American PEN

Read International PEN’s report on Defamation in Egypt here.

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/honorarymembers/egypt/abdulkareemnabilsuleimankareemamer/

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