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Maybe one of these days my big mouth will get me into this kind of trouble, but until then, all I can do is make some noise about the other bloggers around the world whose big mouths get them tossed into prison -- like Maikel Nabil, the 25-year-old Egyptian author of the blog "Son of Ra," who copied and pasted criticisms of the Egyptian military from Human Rights Watch and other prestigious human rights groups, and has begun serving three years -- incommunicado -- in a military prison.
"Son of Ra" described the ruling Egyptian military as a continuation of the corruption and anti-democratic practices of the recently removed dictator Hosni Mubarak. This hurt the military's feelings; they're very sensitive murderers and torturers.
To get to the crux of the problem: Now that a popular uprising has removed Mubarak, the ruling military wants the world to think there's a new, free, democratic Egypt waiting for tourism -- Egypt's biggest industry -- to resume.
Well, that's crap. Egypt isn't new, it isn't free, it certainly isn't democratic. Under the current circumstances, it's dangerous -- lethally -- for Egyptians and foreign visitors.
And the last place people who want freedom and democracy should visit and spend their money is Egypt. While Mikail Nabil is locked up, unable to speak, in a military prison -- and hundreds of other Egyptian political prisoners are locked up, too -- find somewhere else to travel and spend your money.-- but then continue to rule Egypt with the brutal suppression of secret police and live ammo fired into uncomfortably large and aggressive anti-government demonstrations. The ruling Army regime has no intention of liberalizing or democratizing Egypt. The thrilling mass demonstrations of March have -- sad to say -- changed very little in the way Egypt is really ruled and run.
The ruling military regime doesn't get it. They think it's sufficient to tolerate a big public party of pro-democracy kids in Cairo -- something theatrically reminiscent of the fall of the Berlin Wall -- fire Mubarak and put him and his family under house arrest in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh ( شرم الشيخ )
Write the Egyptian Minister of Tourism and tell him you're taking your vacation somewhere else.
Write U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and tell her to stop playing footsy and kissy-face with Egypt's ruling military, and to demand the immediate release of Maikel Nabil and every other political prisoner.
Labels: Maikel Nabil Son of Ra Hosni Mubarak Hillary Clinton