Monday, January 8, 2007

Inspired by Bahraini Student Activists

Just before New Years, on Friday, December 29, a small group of Bahraini student activists gathered outside the Egyptian Embassy in Bahrain. Their mission: demand Egyptian officials release Abdelkareem, a 22-year-old student in Alexandria detained for over 45 days over a blogpost.

The students in Bahrain live under a dictatorship, yet they chose to exercise their right to free speech on behalf of a fellow student sitting in jail hundreds of miles away.

Their small act of solidarity has inspired activists in Washington, DC of diverse backgrounds to do the same. We exercise our freedom to demand the release of a young man arrested solely for being critical on his blog - something bloggers in DC do every day.

And here in DC, we are lucky to have representatives of the Egyptian government, who staff various embassy and consulate buildings around the city. If we rally here, we can send a message directly to the Egyptian government. Abdelkareem has now been held for nearly two months in jail without trial. We can demand his release - now.

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