From Saad Ibrahim:
But I'm not writing just to tell you my story – I'm writing because right now in Egypt, political dissidents are routinely abducted, brutally beaten, accused of high treason, and imprisoned for years. And it won't stop until the global community sends a clear message that the Egyptian people deserve free, fair and transparent elections.
Human Rights First is leading the charge: Coordinating with activists here in Egypt to monitor elections, lobbying the U.S. government to demand international election monitors, and helping to free unfairly jailed activists – like they did for me in 2003. But the next Egyptian election is just weeks from now and we need all the help we can get. Will you support their urgent work before November 10?
Egypt's current ruler,, has been in power for 29 years – the longest reign of any Egyptian leader since the early 1800s – and has extended a 29-year State of Emergency that allows him to use the enormous state police force to silence protesters.
While he has been in power, journalists and political dissidents have been jailed and tortured and elections have been routinely rigged. Some voters, blocked from their in the last election, resorted to using ladders to bypass blockades and cast their votes – only to find that officials had already stuffed the .
When I spoke out in defense of democratic governance while abroad in 2007, I was warned not to return to Egypt for my own safety.
Activists in Egypt are working relentlessly and courageously to organize voters and monitor the elections – but without support from organizations like Human Rights First, the Egyptian government will continue to stifle democracy and threaten opposition groups.
Human Rights First is working with Egyptian activists on the ground, who are using new ladders – the Internet and mobile technology – to get voters to the stations and to spread information about the abuses of the government.
It's been very helpful to us on the ground to have an American partner in this fight – one that is pressuring the Obama Administration to send a clear signal to Egypt thatare necessary. But they need your help to support these efforts.
The Egyptian people deserve fair and transparent elections. Thank you for your help.
Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim
Founder, Arab Organization for Human Rights