Last month I linked to the Egyptian blogger Sandmonkey’s first-hand account of brutal repression at a small demonstration in Cairo against the Mubarak government.
Now, sadly and perhaps inevitably, Sandmonkey has decided to give up blogging— at least for now.
One of the chief reasons is the fact that there has been too much heat around me lately. I no longer believe that my anonymity is kept, especially with State Secuirty agents lurking around my street and asking questions about me since that day. I ignore that, the same way I ignored all the clicking noises that my phones started to exhibit all of a sudden, or the law suit filed by Judge Mourad on my friends, and instead grew bolder and more reckless at a time where everybody else started being more cautious. It took me a while to take note of the fear that has been gripping our little blogsphere and comprehend what it really means. The prospects for improvment, to put it slightly, look pretty grim. I was the model of caution, and believing in my invincipility by managing not to get arrested for the past 2 and a half years, I’ve grown reckless.
Given the treatment of other outspoken Egyptian bloggers, it’s difficult to blame Sandmonkey. I hope at some point he feels safe enough to resume blogging. But the Mubarak regime’s repression of secular opponents like Sandmonkey has strengthened the hand of Islamist opponents like the Muslim Brotherhood. And if they come to power in Egypt, it’s hard to imagine people like Sandmonkey being any freer. It is, however, possible to imagine them being even less free.
(Via Mick Hartley.)