Kareem Amer is an Egyptian blogger who was condemned to a 4-year-prison term for “insulting Islam“. The end of his imprisonment has come but, instead of freeing him, he has been kept in prison and beaten severely.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information reports that Kareem is being beaten at the State Security Intelligence (SSI) headquarters in Alexandria where he was held illegally for the past five days. The press release notes that Kareem has completed his full sentence and should therefore be released. A translation of the report’s highlights are below:
On the 6th of November Kareem Amer was released from the Borj Al Arab prison, where he was held for years, and his official release was meant to be processed, however he was detained by the State Security Intelligence in Alexandria where he faced beatings by a junior officer as well as an order for his continued detainment.
Gamal Eid, the director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, said that these practices against an unarmed prisoner is creating a climate of hatred against the police forces in general and the State Security Intelligence officials in particular. Kareem already spent years of punishment and his release is now a legal obligation, therefore why is he being beaten and held illegally?
The network stresses that holding a prisoner under these conditions despite having completed the sentence given four years ago is an injustice that people will not be willing to forget. Egypt’s ministry of interior will have to one day answer for these crimes. The ministry in question, with all its soldiers and officers, are not more powerful than a person’s right.
During his prison term he has been harrassed repeatedly:
“This is not the first time prison authorities have gone out of their way to harass Karim Amer,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program Coordinator Mohamed Abdel Dayem. “Egyptian authorities seem intent on degrading critics even when they are in prison. Karim Amer should not be in prison at all.”
I really hope that he is freed as soon as possible. He did nothing but speak his mind. And yet, he was condemned, imprisoned, tortured, harrassed and is now facing illegal detention. On a personal basis, his family disowned him and his father wanted Sharia Law to be applied to him:
The family of Al-Azhar student Abdul Kareem Nabeel Suleiman, accused of “contempt of religion”, has disowned him before his court verdict session on the upcoming Thursday. His father, a retired mathematics teacher, has demanded applying the Sharia [Islamic law] ruling on him by giving him three days to repent, followed by having him killed if he does not announce his repentance.