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Egyptian Blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah on Hunger Strike

Egpytian blogger Alaa Abd El Fattah was sentenced to fifteen years in prison this June for “for spurious accusations made in connection with his longstanding and influential activism.”

I’ve been to prison. (It was on a tour, but it was enough for me to know it was a place to be avoided.) I imagine an Egyptian prison would make the Lucas County Correctional Facility look like the Four Seasons.

Below is a link that will take you to a brief article from the EFF (Electronic Freedom Foundation) that outlines his case and what little help Т organizations like the Media Legal Defense Initiative can lend to imprisoned bloggers.

Fattah has said, “”I will no longer play the role they’ve written for me.”

Such a statement makes me wonder how often we all play roles others have written for us. Maybe we should all try to be the screenwriter, handle the casting, direction, and editing of our own life story–at least as much as we can. (I suppose editing would imply the ability to go back and fix mistakes, but for me it’s more about editing out people, ideas, attitudes, and debates that do not serve my psychological well-being.)

Blogging is just writing online. Saying what you see, think, feel, and claim to know. How could such a seemingly minor act cause so much fear? Answers of course are found in the so-called Arab Spring and in nations like Russia–where Vladimir Putin has essentially ruled in a quasi-fascist society for most of my life.

Tim Berners-Lee (the man who basically invented the Internet and gave it away for free) has recently called for a Magna Carta for the Internet. Perhaps–in the interest of all human being on this Earth–we should consider participating in his project, or at the very least listening to his TED talk on the subject.



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