Free Alaa!

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Alaa is a young prominent Egyptian blogger that was arrested and jailed among 47 activists on 7th May 2006 during a peaceful demonstration in Cairo.
His personal website and blog, shared with his wife Manal, is http://www.manalaa.net/ has the latest news about his condition.

There is a petition by Hands Across the Mideast Support Alliance (HAMSA) to free Alaa, which I copy:

Demand Egyptian Regime Release Alaa from Tora Prison

Alaa Abd El-Fatah is one of Egypt’s most prominent bloggers and free speech advocates. He and his wife Manal run the popular blog BitBucket, which collects posts from dozens of Egyptian blogs and which won a “Best of the Blogs” award in December from Reporters Without Borders.

On Saturday (May 7), Alaa was arrested with a group of activists during a peaceful demonstration outside a Cairo courthouse. The rally denounced disciplinary hearings for two reform judges and arrests of protestors at previous demonstrations. Alaa and a group of other demonstrators were cornered by Egyptian police, and security agents then apparently handpicked individual protestors for arrest.

Alaa seems to have been targeted because of his high profile: he helps organizes the protests and spread the information through the blog aggregator he runs. He is now being held in notorious Tora Prison — and his arrest seems designed to both shut down his blog aggregator and scare other Egyptian bloggers. But you can send a message to the Egyptian government through the petition below (you can edit the petition text), which will generate an email to political leaders who can secure Alaa’s release.

The petition will be sent to:

  • Egypt’s Ambassador to the US Nabil Fahmy
  • Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif
  • Egypt’s Interior Minister Habib El Adly
  • US Ambassador to Egypt Francis Ricciardone
  • US Assistant Secretary of State David Welch

This campaign has been signed 1047[check page for latest figure] times. Click here to see who’s signed.

Join the Campaign

Alaa is speaking (has the mic) at an event about Open-Source software for NGOs in Africa.

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