Egypt - Blogger Kareem el-Beheiri freed after 73 days in prison

    MONTREAL, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - Blogger Kareem el-Beheiri
(, was yesterday released without charge from
Borg el Arab prison, 40 kms from Alexandria.
    Factory worker el-Beheiri, was arrested on 6 April while covering a cost
of living protest at a factory in Mahalla, north of Cairo. A prosecutor
ordered his release ten days later, along with that of two other activists,
Tareq Amin and Kamal al-Fayoumy, but they remained in custody without
explanation until yesterday.
    El-Beheiri was employed at the textiles factory Misr Spinning and Weaving
in the industrial zone of Mahalla. He was sacked for "absenteeism" while he
was in prison even though his employers had received notification of his
imprisonment. The authorities accused him of calling for a strike on his blog,
on which he posted news about demonstrations by Egyptian workers in protest at
poor living standards.
    Egypt has six million Internet users and one of the most active
blogospheres in the Middle-East. Internet users made several calls for people
to join the 6 April strike on the social networking site Facebook. The "6
April" group had attracted 64,000 members on the eve of the protests. Police
in Mahalla beat its organiser Ahmed Maher, a 27-year-old engineer, for 12
hours to get him to give them the identity of the group members so that the
authorities could stamp it out.

For further information:

For further information: Katherine Borlongan, Secretary General,
Reporters Without Borders Canada, (514) 521-4111,,

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