Oslo, 10. April 2007
His Excellency Mohammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 390 1998
As Chair Writers in Prison Committee of Norwegian PEN, I remain seriously concerned about the numbers of writers and journalists sentenced or facing charges for their writings in Egypt. Writers, journalists and civil society activists remain at risk of detention, trial and imprisonment solely for peacefully expressing their views.
The renewal of the Emergency Law in April 2006 is widely regarded as a means to silence critics and maintain strong restrictions on freedom of expression and religion
Egypt’s press is one of the most influential and widely-read in the region but despite a pledge made by President Mubarak in February 2004 to decriminalise offences committed by journalists, laws which allow imprisonment for defaming the president, state institutions and foreign heads of state remain in place.
The Writers in Prison Committee Norwegian PEN protests the detention of Internet writer Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman (aka Kareem Amer), and all judicial proceedings against journalists and writers in Egypt solely for their writings. International PEN considers Kareem Amer to be detained in violation of Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a signatory, and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
Trusting that you, Your Excellency, will take immediate action, I remain,
Elisabet W. Middelthon/sign. Carl Morten Iversen
Chair Writers in Prison Committee, Norwegian PEN Secretary general
His Excellency Cr Mamdouh Muheiddin Marei
Minister of Justice
Magles El Shaab St, Justice Bldg
Cairo, Egypt, fax: +202 7958103
Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Norwegian Embassy in Cairo, Egypt
Egyptian Embassy in Oslo, Norway