Egyptian Blogger Beaten
During the mayhem of a major soccer match, Egyptian blogger Kareem el-Shae’r was kidnapped and beaten. El-Shae’r moderates the Free Egypt blog and is a member of Ayman Nour‘s el-Ghad party and the April 6 Youth movement. For his activism, el-Shae’r has been arrested several times and beaten before. The Egyptian interior ministry refused to comment on the incident.
Meanwhile, at the Internet Governance Forum in Sharm el Sheikh, the Egyptian government announced the world’s first Arabic web domain that will facilitate Internet access for the world’s Arabic speakers. While speaking at the conference, U.N. undersecretary general for economic and social affairs, Sha Zukang, contended “good and democratic Internet governance is a means of achieving development for all.” According to Yahoo’s Jerry Lang, only 1 percent of online content is in Arabic despite having over 300 million Arabic speakers in the world. However, some groups are concerned about Egypt’s poor track record in upholding freedom of expression, both on and off the Internet.