CAIRO – An Egyptian blogger whose case epitomized the struggle for freedom of expression in cyberspace has been freed after serving four years in prison on charges of insulting Islam and defaming President Hosni Mubarak.
Human rights organizations announced Wednesday that Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, the blogger known as Kareem Amer, had been released from prison.
“We are deeply relieved and happy to know that Kareem’s nightmare is over and he is free at last,” the international advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said in a statement.
Suleiman is believed to be the first blogger in Egypt convicted for his writings and harshly critical posts.
Suleiman, a former law student at Al Azhar, the Cairo-based leading university of Sunni Muslim thought, was accused of posting blogs that insulted Mubarak and for inciting hatred of Islam. Suleiman had long been critical of what he saw as religious fanaticism and the excesses of the power of Islam and the state on the lives of Egyptians.
In one of his posts following a 2005 Muslim attack on a Christian Coptic Church, he wrote: “Muslims revealed their true ugly face and appeared to all the world that they are full of brutality, barbarism and inhumanity.”