Target: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
Goal: Release jailed activist Ahmed Douma
Peaceful protestor Ahmed Douma was recently arrested by Egyptian security forces for the “crime” of insulting President Mohamed Morsi and has since been convicted and sentenced to six months in prison. Douma is a well-respected young activist for the liberal/secularist Egyptian Popular Current; he also spent years protesting and criticizing former President Hosni Mubarak. Under the regime of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, security forces have run rampant, arbitrarily beating and arresting peaceful protestors, women standing for equal rights, and secularists demonstrating in opposition to theocratic Sharia law. These victims are members of the selfsame groups that helped the Muslim Brotherhood overthrow Mubarak in 2011, and their current repression at the hands of their former allies is sinisterly reminiscent of Ayatollah Khomeini’s liquidation of the liberals and secularists who helped him overthrow the Iranian Shah in 1979.
President Morsi came to power democratically after the fall of authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak—it is worth noting that Mubarak himself came to power democratically three decades ago, but over time rejected popular opinion and became a repressive ruler maintained by brute force. We can only hope that Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood will not make an Islamist despotism out of Egypt, but the government’s ongoing jailing of activists, repression of women, and trampling of human rights do not bode well for the country. Please sign the petition below to demand that Morsi release Ahmed Douma, and ensure that the president does not take Egypt back down the path to tyranny.
Dear President Mohamed Morsi:
Your security forces recently arrested, beat, and imprisoned Popular Current activist Ahmed Douma for the supposed transgression of criticizing your rule. Douma is not a revolutionary or a violent criminal, and he has been wrongly convicted for expressing his valid opinion—an opinion to which his basic human rights entitle him.
You came to power democratically a short time after the fall of an authoritarian president, and because of that fact you of all people ought to recognize the importance of a government that respects basic civil and human rights. The freedom of speech is one of the most important principles of a free society, and in no civilized country should citizens ever be arrested, beaten, and jailed for criticizing politicians. If you honestly hope to move forward from Egypt’s authoritarian past, then I implore you to begin by ordering your security forces to release Ahmed Douma. If you fail to do so, then you are setting yourself upon a path of being as tyrannical as your predecessors, and all the worse than them for your hypocrisy and democratic pretensions.
[Your Name Here]
Photocredit: European External Action Service via Flickr