Obama needs to push Egypt to release blogger (Rep. Mark Kirk)

Egypt should demonstrate it is a force for tolerance in the Arab world by releasing Kareem Amer from prison.

Young human rights activist, Abdel Kareem Nabil Soliman, or Kareem Amer as he is known in the blogosphere, was sentenced in February, 2007 to rot in prison for four years based solely on his blog.  The first blogger in the Arab world to be jailed for his internet comments, Kareem’s only crime was criticizing extremists who seek to persecute women and minorities.



We have a unique opportunity to right this injustice – President Obama should call for the release of Kareem and reestablish the freedom of expression so that every person, regardless of location, can express their personal views supporting tolerance on the internet.

The Egyptian government is heavily subsidized by the United States.  Americans are going through tough times and would not be happy supporting a regime that set a precedent and put the first blogger in jail – solely for promoting tolerance.  Egypt should not stand out as repressive regime that stifles the fundamental rights of its people.  That is why Kareem Amer should be released as President Obama visits Cairo.