Egyptian democracy activist, Alaa arrested.
Wednesday, 10 May 2006 14:53
Last october I went to Bulgaria for the annual conference of the Association for Progressive Communications, an organisation I co-founded in the late 80's. While there I met an Egyptian blogger, Alaa Abd El-Fatah. Who impressed me as a voice of moderation in a part of the world full of extremism.
Alaa was arrested at a demonstration in Cairo on May 7th, 2006, alongside a
group of his colleagues. He was demonstrating peacefully along with other activists
against attempts to reduce the independence of the judiciary in Egypt. He is being held in an infamous Torah prison. The incident is summarised on freealaa.blogspot.com .....
Alaa is a secular democracy activist, and a tireless advocate of freedom, free speech and human rights. He organizes demonstrations and engages in protests against all kinds of injustices in Egypt and is the winner of the international Best of the Blogs award from Reporters Without Borders last December.
Alaa was arrested while protesting to support Egypt’s Judges fight for independence. 2 weeks earlier he had organized a “National Unity” protest to show solidarity with Egypt’s Christians who suffered a sectarian attack on 3 churches on Good Friday. Before that he was one of the few voices that urged calm and peaceful dialogue while the cartoon crisis was hitting its peak. He is a desperately needed voice of moderation and democracy in Egypt, and one of the few flickers of hope in a country whose future seems mire between the crushing rule of the regime and the fanaticism of the Islamist opposition.
I would urge anyone who values freedom of speech to protest to their local embassy - which you can find here.
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