May 31, 2006

THE WASHINGTON POST has a story on Egypt’s imprisoned bloggers. And, in the Christian Science Monitor, Sandmonkey is calling for a boycott of Egypt:

If arresting peaceful protesters on the street, week after week (653 last month alone), weren’t enough, the Egyptian government is looking to end public dissent over the Internet. So far, six bloggers have been arrested. One of them is Alaa Abdel-Fatah, one of Egypt’s most prominent bloggers. Mr. Abdel-Fatah runs an aggregator service for Egyptian blogs, using the space to help organize protests. He has been a thorn in the side of the Egyptian government for some time, which finally decided to handpick Abdel-Fatah and fellow bloggers out of a recent street protest and detain them. They have been in jail for three weeks now in a place that makes Abu Ghraib look like the Four Seasons.

Another blogger, Mohamed el-Sharqawi, was released, then rearrested two days later, just last Thursday. He was beaten up and says he was raped by the police before being thrown in jail again. There is still no word on what he is charged with, or how long he will be detained, since the emergency laws allow his indefinite incarceration without charges. . . .

For all of the aforementioned reasons, I call upon you to boycott Egypt financially.

I am not just asking the US State Department to suspend the $3 billion in annual aid sent to the Egyptian government. I am asking every person who reads this to not visit Egypt, not buy Egyptian products, and not invest in companies that invest in Egypt. I am asking you to completely boycott Egypt and everything Egyptian until this government stops silencing dissent.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my country. But the current regime has to be stopped, and the only way that’s going to happen is if it is no longer supported.

Read the whole thing. Mubarak, apparently, is pissed at the pressure he’s been getting from the United States. Seems to me that means it’s time for more.