The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Crackdown on Egypt's Islamist bloggers

Three major Egyptian Islamist bloggers have been arrested over the last 48 hours, Global Voices reports:

Today, July 22, 2009, seems to be a start of a series of crackdown on bloggers in Egypt, as 3 young bloggers were arrested separately. The first blogger is Ahmad Abu Khalil, who was taken from his home in the dawn.

State Security forces broke into Ahmad's house and confiscated his books. The State Security did not inform his family about the accusations against the son, or as to where he will be taken. However, he is most likely being held in Nasr City State Security headquarter.

Ahmad who blogs at Al- Bayareq (means: lanterns), identifies himself as an ‘Islamist’. And he used to write about his life.

The other two bloggers are Abdel Rahman Ayyash and Magy Sa'd, who have been arrested at the Cairo Airport, since yesterday night. The two bloggers were coming back from a visit to Turkey. Ayyash is running ‘Abdel Rahman's Blog‘ , while Magdy is writing at ‘Yalla Mesh Mohem’ blog, (means: OK it doesn't matter).

These guys are among the most influential young Islamist bloggers in Egypt, generally voices for dialogue with other currents and reform inside the Muslim Brotherhood. They are among the people campaigning for the release of Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the prominent member of the MB's Guidance Council who has articulated reformist tendencies more clearly than any other leader. Let's hope they are quickly released.

Update: Menassat has a write-up, quoting from here but also with additional info.