Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Egyptian Authorities Silences a Coptic Blogger

Almost everyone knows the Egyptian Copts are not happy with their situation in Egypt. They have been harassed lately by different parties. Some of the Copts took their frustration to the blogsphere. But, the government doesn't want them to use this window and let the world know of their ordeal. Egyptian Coptic blogger Hala Helmy Botros couldn't take it anymore and deleted all her posts. The government managed to silence her voice. Reporters Without Borders reports:

Reporters Without Borders today condemned the months of harassment by the authorities in Qina (near Luxor, in central Egypt) that forced Hala Helmy Botros to close down her blog Aqbat Bela Hodood (Copts Without Borders) about the persecution of the Christian Coptic minority, and to stop writing on this subject for other websites.

Botros, 42, who wrote under the pseudonym of Hala El-Masry, is now the target of a judicial investigation and is banned from leaving the country.

"We are outraged by the practices used by the Egyptian authorities to intimidate and silence Botros," Reporters Without Borders said. "With relations between Christians and Muslims off-limits in the traditional media, all she did was write posts on the Internet about the fate of the Coptic minority. It is unacceptable that freedom of expression and movement should be restricted in this fashion. We insist that the authorities guarantee Botros' basis rights."


Blogs have caught the attention of the Egyptian government during the last two years. A few bloggers were arrested and released after spending a "not very pleasant" time in prison. Hala is the latest victim of the government harassments.

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