English PEN is seriously concerned for the well-being of its Honorary Member, the Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer following reports that he has been beaten and ill-treated in detention at Borg Alarab prison, where he is serving his four-year sentence.
According to PEN’s information, Kareem Amer alleges in letters sent from prison in early November 2007 that he was beaten by a prison guard and another inmate under the instruction of an investigationg officer at the Borg Alarab prison. Following the incident, in which one of his teeth was reportedly broken, he claims to have been transferred to a disciplinary cell, where he received further beatings and was denied sufficient food and water. The incident follows an allegation of corruption made by Amer against the prison authorities.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information reports that he was prevented from officially reporting the incident and denied the right to document his injuries in a medical report. Kareem Amer’s lawyers have filed a complaint. Kareem Amer claims to have been repeatedly threatened at Borg Alarab prison, and is said to suffer systematic discrimination from prison officials and other prisoners.
Kareem Amer is a former al-Azhyar University student and is known for his secular views and his critical writings on Islam and Egypt’s highest religious authorities published online. Amer was summoned to appear before the office of the Public Prosecutor in Alexandria on 7 November 2006 after posting articles critical of Islam on his web log. He was charged with ‘incitement to hate Muslims’, ‘defaming the President of the Republic’ and ‘insulting Islam’, and was held on renewable two-week detention orders until his trial began on 18 January 2007. He was sentenced to four years in prison on 22 February 2007. To read more about Amer, please click here.
Please send appeals:
Expressing serious concern at reports that Kareem Amer is being ill-treated while in detention in Borg Alarab prison, and urging that they are fully investigated;
Reminding the Egyption authorities of their obligations to the United Nations Convention against Torture and the related Articles 126, 127 and 139 of the Egyptian Criminal Code;
Renewing calls for Amer’s immediate and unconditional release in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory.
His Excellency Mohammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Republic of Egypt
Fax: 202 390 1998
Cc. His Excellency Cr Mamdouh Muheiddin Marei
Minister of Justice
Magles El Shaab St
Fax: 202 7958103
It may be more effective, however, to send the above letters care of Egypt’s representative in the United Kingdom:
His Excellency Mr Gehad Refaat Madi
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
26 South Street
London W1K 1DW
Fax: (020) 7491 1542
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/bulletins/egyptfearsforkareemamer/