Egyptian student arrested for having an account associated with being an atheist. was it right for them to arrest him?
and computer science student, Alber Saber, has been arrested and
charged with insulting Islam. He is being held in while the
investigation continues. There are concerns for his safety in custody as
he has already apparently had his neck slashed with a razor blade after
guards told the prisoners of the reason for his arrest. It is almost
certain the guard’s words were meant to encourage exactly this outcome.
Saber has also announced via family that he is starting a hunger strike.
On Wednesday, September 12th, a Muslim friend and neighbor using
Saber’s computer reportedly discovered that he was the admin for the Egyptian Athiests Facebook page,
which is the largest of several such groups online with over a thousand
“likes”. On September 10 the notorious “Innocence of Muslims” had been
posted on the site. Over the next two days crowds began to gather
outside his house, threatening Saber and his mother.
On Thursday night Saber’s mother called the police, hoping for
protection. When the police arrived however, rather than fending the
threatening mob outside, they arrested her son.
The charge according to his lawyer and supporters, focuses on videos
in which Saber discusses his own Coptic faith or lack thereof. This
makes sense as to charge anyone for posting the “Innocence of Muslims”
video would set an impossible precedent. Even conservative broadcasters
have also shown the video, or sections of it on their shows. It is not
yet clear however, which materials will be included in the case against
him, which is currently in the hands of the General Prosecutor. The next
hearing is expected in four days.
After talking with Saber’s friends it seems likely to me that Egypt’s
Islamist leaders are hoping to create a local issue where they can be
seen as the tough guys, to distract Egyptians from how the furor in the
international arena, in the context of which they seem impotent.
You can show your support by liking the Free Alber Saber page on Facebook.
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