Jailed student blogger faces threats as final trial approaches

Alexandra Sandels
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Facing a prison sentence of up to 11 years for his controversial Internet writings on Islam and President Mubarak, Egyptian student blogger Abdelkarim Soliman Amer, also known as “Kareem Amer’, has reportedly received death threats from strangers as well as member of his own family.

In conjunction with the final court ruling in the case, currently scheduled for Thursday Feb. 22, Amer’s family reportedly disowned him publicly a few days ago while urging the court to apply the Sharia in the court’s verdict.

Angered by his son’s actions, Amer’s father had boycotted the previous court hearings, but he will allegedly attend Thursday’s session along with his four brothers to announce the disownment of his son before the courtroom.

Hesitant to speak publicly about their son, one of Amer’s family members told The Daily Star Egypt that “Kareem is 21 years old and suffering in his imprisonment, but must take full responsibility for his wrongdoings.

According to a recent article published in Al-Masry Al-Youm, Amer’s father has denounced the human rights organizations involved in his son’s case, referring to them as “monkey rights groups.

A source close to Amer’s lawyers told The Daily Star Egypt that “no communication exists between the Amer family and the lawyers.

“Kareem and his father have talked and the father will attend the court session. I am busy though and am definitely not planning on going, Amer’s relative stated when asked about Thursday’s trial.

In addition to being disowned by his family, Amer is allegedly receiving many death threats and intimidation from enraged Muslims worldwide.

“There are numerous comments on Kareem s blog from complete strangers from a wide range of Muslim countries, including Egypt and the Untied Arab Emirates, calling for his death as punishment for his writings. It’s dreadful, Esra’a Al-Shafei, founder and moderator of the Internet support campaign for Amer, www.freekareem.org, told The Daily Star Egypt.

Adding their voices to a large number of international organizations, activists, and national governments urging the release of Amer, the Association for World Education in Geneva recently called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, to speak out against Amer’s imprisonment.

“Kareem needs protection and must get out of Egypt for his own safety. People will kill him there. I hope he is allowed to leave the country at this point, Al-Shafei stressed.

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