Name: Kareem Amer / Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman
Arrested: since 06 Nov 06
Blog: كريم عامر (Arabic)
Wikipedia: Kareem Amer
Campaign: Free Kareem!
Committee to Protect Bloggers: Category “Kareem”
Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, better known by his Internet pseudonym Kareem Amer, is a native of Alexandria, Egypt. He grew up in a very religious family and attended the Al-Azhar religious school system his entire life. He began to rebel against the religious extremism he perceived in his school and began to express his opinions on a blog and the site Modern Discussion. On October 23, 2005 Kareem posted an article on his blog, in which he heavily criticizes the Islamic religion. He attacks it as an enemy of peace and freedom, expressing his thoughts after the 2005 riots against Alexandrian Copts.
Three days after publishing the text, Kareem was arrested by the Egyptian security forces the first time, which illegally held him in custody for 12 days. Within this time, Kareem underwent physical and mental torture, his books and writings got confiscated. But after strong international protests, he was released for this time.
Four months later, the next step in this case was taken: On April 17, 2006 Kareem was expelled from Al Azhar university because of his anti-islamic writings and further critic on his professors. Al Azhar also informed the security forces about these measurements, which may have caused his repeated detention on November 6, 2006. This time, Kareem was not released, but held in detention pending trial till November 22, when he was charged with the following crimes:
* Spreading data and malicious rumors that disrupt public security;
* Defaming the President of Egypt;
* Incitement to overthrow the regime upon hatred and contempt;
* Incitement to hate “Islam” and breach of the public peace standards;
* Highlighting inappropriate aspects that harm the reputation of Egypt and spreading them to the public.
After the first trial, the case was repeatedly delayed, mostly because the State Security Service’s question. Finally, the trial was opened on January 25, 2007. On February 22, Kareem got sentenced to three years in prison for defaming Islam and another year for defaming president Mubarak by judge Ayman al-Akazi. Through this decision, Kareem Amer was the first Egyptian blogger to be jailed for his public writings.
From the beginning of the case, Kareem has been supported by his friends of freekareem.org, who not just organized a petition, but also international media attention and demonstrations in several cities all over the world. On November 9, 2007 rallies were held in a dozen cities on three continents to remind of the first anniversary of Kareem’s detention.