How Free Is Egyptian Freedom of Speech?

Now the Egyptian Government is targeting the bloggers. Fattah has already spent time in jail, including a short stint in solitary confinement, for participating in pro-democracy rally in Cairo. Fattah says he is sure his phone is tapped, his e-mail is read and his Web site watched carefully by Egyptian security officials.

Just this month, 21-year-old Abdel Kareem Soliman was sentenced to four years in prison for blogging. He criticized Mubarak on his blog for cracking down on his opponents. It is the first time an Egyptian court has jailed someone for publishing their opinions on the Internet. Human rights groups say it sets a dangerous precedent. Amnesty International called the ruling "yet another slap in the face of freedom for expression in Egypt."

Fattah knows he could be arrested again, but he is willing to risk it.

"If I am active, at least if something happens to me it will be for a reason. I will know it is happening for a reason, I cannot imagine what it would be like to face tortures or prison, or anything like that for no reason at all."

Fattah's Web site.

http://www.manalaa.net/

Rice Speech at American University in Cairo.

http://www.state.gov/secretary/rm/2005/48328.htm

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