Concerns Grow Over Bloggers Quitting Due To Govt Intimidation
|Monday, April 30,2007 16:08|
Muslim Brotherhood activist and blogger Ibrahim El Houdaiby expressed support and solidarity with blogger Sandmonkey, who decided to stop blogging after being intimidated by Egyptian authorities.
He added that "the already-restricted margins of freedom are significantly eroding, and the blogosphere, the activists" last resort, is now under attack. The past few months witnessed the imprisonment of Kareem Amer, the arrest of Abdel Moneim Mahmoud, investigations with Alaa Seif and others, and finally threats that forced Sandmonkey to quit blogging."
He called upon freedom and democracy advocates to act, and support the reformists in Egypt, who "are losing ground on daily basis," stressing that "the regime"s capitalization on Western silence is turning Egypt into one large prison cell."
"As an Islamist activist, I condemn this crackdown on Sandmonkey, Amer, Moneim, and all other bloggers and civil opposition activists," he said, adding that the unity and diversity of opposition groups and reformists in Egypt, and solidarity amongst them, is the only way to renaissance.
El Houdaiby, who is also a blogger, expressed his outrage with the regime"s intimidation of a colleague. "I feel insecure, and am particularly worried about the regime"s crackdown on tolerant members of all groups, who are coming closer together, defending each others" right, and building a strong, broad, democratic alliance capable of facing the regime"s tyranny, corruption and authoritarianism."
He added that intimidating blogger is only one of several measures adopted by the regime that violate the basic human rights of Egyptian citizens. "I do not know what"s next. Phones are monitored, freedom of speech in newspapers is restricted, and blogger are intimidated," he said.
"You are asking what leads to radicalism and terrorism. This is what leads to terrorism," he said, clarifying that he never finds violence justifiable, "but in a context where people are not allowed to think out loud, I could see why some people resort to violence."