My colleague Mary Joyce who writes a blog called "ZapBoom: The Sound That Change Makes" that focuses on the question, "Under what conditions does citizen activism occur and how can it be supported and encouraged?"
She has is supporting a campaign to Free Monem, a blogger arrested by Egyptians security forces on April 15th. He was charged with several crimes, including "belonging to an illegal organization" and "organizing secret meetings with the aim of disturbing public order." According to Mary, his real crime was challenging the dictatorial regime of Hosni Mubarak by telling the truth about the torture he underwent and condemning the country's unjust military tribunals.
In an email, Mary suggests taking these actions:
As the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day an Egyptian blogger, Abdel Monem Mahmoud, sits in jail, his only crime his desire for a more open Egyptian society. We cannot let the regime succeed in silencing him. We have to show the Egyptian regime that when you imprison a blogger, you don't silence his , you AMPLIFY it! How? By taking action! Here's what you can do:
1. Watch the protest video. Share it with your friends.
Global s Advocacy Director Sami Ben Gharbia has created a video which powerfully explains the reasons for the detention of Monem and demands his freedom. View it. Share it. Post it on your blog: http://www.YouTube.com/watch?v =-017xCZEXFU&eurl=
2. Add the Free Monem quote randomizer badge to your blog's sidebar.
Yeah, we think it's pretty cool. Activist tech guru Astrubal has created a sidebar badge which cycles through a stream of Monem's blog quotes (à la Amnesty's Irrepressible campaign). Fortunately for us, Monem is an eloquent writer. Here's a taste:
"We [Egyptians] claimed freedom for others and forget our own freedom"
"If I taught a woman to wear a veil, I should teach her to claim her right to enter the university wearing the veil."
"Freedom is now an obligation and should be implemented before Sharia'a"
Yeah, we think he's pretty inspiring too. The symbol of a brighter future for the Middle East, in fact. So let's make sure he gets his freedom, not just by posting his words on World Press Freedom Day, but by broadcasting his words every day. You can get the badge here on our "banner and badges" page or you can just insert the following embed code into your blog:
<iframe name="monem" src=" http://freemonem.cybversion.org/monemphrases/monem_phrase.php" frameborder="0" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" height="200" width="150"></iframe>
Eventually, quotes from other imprisoned bloggers will also be added to the quote feed. Just sit back and let the free speech flow.
3. Re-publish Monem's posts on your own blog.
For the last few days a crack team of volunteers from around the world has been translating Monem's posts so millions of new readers can read his censored speech. Let's show Mubarak that his attempt to silence this blogger has been completely counterproductive. Instead of reducing the number of people who read Monem's words, let's make sure that the number of readers increases... exponentially!
It's easy to take part! Just pick a post by Monem from the list below and copy and paste the whole thing (or an excerpt) into your own blog. It would also be great if you could tag your post (using Technorati or deli.cio.us) with the words "FreeMonem" to help us keep track of how many people take part in this action.
----MONEM'S POSTS... for you to republish on your blog----
Free the Brothers...Free Abdel Kareem... Free Egypt 3/7/07 (one of our favorites - Monem calls for jailed blogger Kareem's release and points out how secularists and Islamists face the same oppression by the Mubarak's regime)
The Fourth Anniversary of the Torture of Detainee #25 4/14/07 (essential reading - moving account of torture by Egyptian security forces during his imprisonment in 2003 )
Alexandria University Detour 11/1/06 (frustration with the Muslim Brotherhood at his university and a call for Egyptians to demand their freedom... excerpt)
Birds' s 2/12/07 (how blogging is changing the Muslim Brotherhood... excerpt)