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Cairo, November 8, 2009

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information deeply regretted the continued imprisonment of the young blogger Kareem Amer, despite his legal right of early release. According to ANHRI, the Interior Ministry insistence on holding the young man in prison till the beginning of the fourth year means that the ministry insists on more abuse against critical voices that express their personal views.

Gamal Eid, Executive Director of the network said that the continued imprisonment of Kareem is a “loss for the smarter wing of the Ministry of the Interior to the more repressive wing”. According to information received by the NAHRI, there were views in favor of early release of Kareem, while others adhered to hold him in order to make him a model in front of other bloggers while expressing their opinions.

Eid stated that what is happening with Kareem is a continuation of the governmental policy which aims to prove to all young bloggers and activists that “any benefit obtained from free expression of their opinions would be so little when compared to the punishment they will receive, which might be security or legal persecution, imprisonment and torture”.

Earlier, the Arabic Network has expressed hope that President Mubarak would intervene personally and order the Minister of Interior to immediately release Kareem who served three quarters of his term in “Burj al Arab” prison. ANHRI Still hopes that the president act, at least for once, out of “Spirit of Fatherhood”, which has been long braised by the state-owned newspapers and media outlets.

ANHRI appeals to all the defenders of freedom of expression and human rights organizations in Egypt and the world to continue expressing their support for Kareem and call upon the President and Minister of Interior not to deprive deny the young man’s right to liberty and suffice with the years he spent in one of the worst prisons in the Arab world.