Abdel Karim Suleiman Speaks
Egyptian blogger Abdel Karim Suleiman was charged for the 'crimes' of 'inciting hatred of Islam' and insulting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarek in posts on his blog - which Suleiman wrote under the pseudonym 'Kareem Amer'.
Karim was sentenced to four years in prison for his audacity, and was due to be released on November 5th. But instead of being released, he was detained for an additional ten days, with no explanation provided by Egyptian authorities. He was eventually released on November 15th, although after reports that he was beaten by a junior officer.
Since then, Karim has not spoken about his ordeal in prison. Until now, that is. Al Jazeera reports on Suleiman's first public statements about his sentence since his release on the 25th:
"On Wednesday, he told of how he spent his first 65 days in a cell by himself, allowed only two visits.
His guards gave him government newspapers to read and made sure the television was turned to state programmes.
On one occasion, he was assaulted by a fellow inmate on the orders of a prison officer and suffered a broken tooth.
By the summer of 2008, guards had started limiting Suleiman’s visits, and after April 19, 2009, he was not allowed to see anyone from outside the Borg al-Arab prison in Alexandria, where he was serving his term.
“What kept me holding on is my belief that I didn’t do wrong, that it’s my right to express my opinion, that all what was happening to me was a violation of the law,” he said."
The Egyptian authorities have a lot to answer for, although sadly enough, this is just one more in a long line of human rights abuses being perpetrated by the Mubarak regime. And since Mubarak seems quite likely to keep himself in power in the upcoming Egyptian election, there will likely be many more abuses to come.
Walker Morrow is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist