The creator of the “6 April” group on Facebook, blogger Esraa Abdel Fattah Ahmed, was finally released yesterday although the prosecutor general had ordered her release on 17 April. She had been held in Cairo’s Al Kanater prison since 7 April, one day after the 6 April food price protests in Cairo that she helped to publicise.
“Her release is mainly due to media pressure and the appeal that her mother addressed to President Hosni Mubarak and Mubarak’s wife in the press,” a local source told Reporters Without Borders. The appeal “From the heart of Esraa’s mother to the heart of Mubarak, and to that of Suzanne and [interior minister] Habib al-Adli,” was published in the Egyptian press on 22 April.
Two of the more than 20 people still being held in connection with the 6 April protests are bloggers. One is Kareem El Beheiri, a textile worker in Mahalla (north of Cairo) who writes about working conditions and human rights violations in his blog. The other is Ahmad Badawi, a critic of the government’s conservative policies (http://bad-way.blogspot.com/).
The Egyptian blogosphere is planning another day of protest on 4 May, Mubarak’s 80th birthday, to call for their release.