Monday, May 08, 2006

Free Alaa

Alaa Seif al-Islam, as well as a bunch of other people (1, 2), have been arrested by Egyptian security forces. There are a lot of bloggers on this list, most prominently Alaa himself, whom I never actually met per se but was around a fair amount in Egypt. The prison where they've been taken has a bad reputation, so if anyone has any ideas for pressuring for their release, let's implement them.

UPDATE: Elijah Zarwan has more:
"When I first met Alaa in the summer of 2005, I told him I was worried the government would crack down on the Kifaya protesters after the elections, when the world’s attention was elsewhere. I asked him if he was worried about what would happen if that came to pass: Many of the protesters were young, they had never been in jail, they didn’t know what could happen to them. He said he believed that it was too late for the government to put an end to the protests, that once people had tasted a bit of freedom, the regime couldn’t roll it back.

"'The government would pay a heavy price if it clamps down on us,' Alaa’s father told the BBC’s Heba Saleh last year. The coming days and weeks will see both those predictions tested."

Over the summer, I commented that the Youth for Change activists reminded me more than anything else of the Friends of the ABC Cafe. Let's hope things turn out differently.


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