Online campaign supports detained blogger
|Saturday, December 22,2007 00:12|
|By Alexandra Sandels|
Mohsen was arrested in Fayoum three weeks ago during a crackdown on members of the banned organization.
The initiative, titled “1000 Bloggers,” calls on bloggers in Egypt and across the Arab world to sign a petition for Mohsen’s release.
“Him today… it could be you tomorrow,” reads the headline of the campaign.
An outspoken anti-torture activist, Mohsen is the moderator of the blog named “eyestillopen.” He was reportedly one of the first to expose the torture case of Mohamed Gomaa Al Dahshouri, who died shortly after allegedly having been beaten at a local police station in Fayoum.
According to a report published on Ikhwanweb, Dr Ahmed Abdul Rahman at Mecca Specialized Hospital was also arrested after writing a report on the condition of the torture victim.
Furthermore, Mohsen helped arrange a press conference for the victim’s family at the Bar Association in Cairo along with members of the anti-torture movement Egyptians Against Torture. He also inspired the establishment of Freedom for Fayoum, a gathering of bloggers and human rights activists in the area.
According to Brotherhood blogger and journalist Abdel Moneim Mahmoud, Mohsen was detained on charges of belonging to a banned organization and is currently being held at Tora prison.
His detainment was recently extended another 15 days by the state security prosecution in New Cairo.
Mahmoud reiterated that Mohsen’s activism most likely played a significant role in his arrest.
“He contacted the media in Cairo and urged bloggers to write about the case. They took him because of his activism and the fact that he is a member of the Brotherhood. It’s a combination of the two,” Mahmoud told Daily News Egypt.
Mahmoud himself was arrested earlier this year and held for more than a month for “belonging to a banned organization.”
Observers, however, maintained that Mahmoud’s arrest was a direct result of his human rights activism and writings critical of the government.
At time of press only around 95 people had signed the petition in support of Mohsen, which, Mahmoud argues, is a very low number.
“The campaign hasn’t witnessed any remarkable activity although his blog was concerned with human rights issues. Other weblogs related to Mohsen haven’t posted banners calling for his release. Also, no human rights organizations have given the case any attention,” said Mahmoud.
The administrator of a liberal blog called “gemyhood” believes that not many bloggers have written about Mohsen “because his arrest was primarily linked to his membership to the Brotherhood.”
“The majority of people who have written on Mohsen’s case seem to be bloggers affiliated with the Brotherhood either way,” he told Daily News Egypt.