Egyptian military arrests gender-law scholar, accredited to NY bar and blogger for ‘NYT,’ at Sinai beach resort

Israel/Palestine
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Egyptian law scholar Amr Shalakany blogged for the NY Times during the revolution. From the Daily News of Egypt:

Law professor at the American University in Cairo Amr El-Shalakany was arrested two days ago and will be tried in a military court in Suez, according to rights activist and a member of “No for Military Trials for Civilians” campaign, Mona Saif,

El- Shalakany faces a possible sentence of 15 years in prison for “insulting the supreme military council” and causing riots and burning a police station.

Hailing from a family of prominent lawyers, El-Shalakany has not yet been officially charged. He was arrested when he attempted to drive in a restricted area near Neama Bay in Sharm El-Shiekh, one of Egypt’s top beach resorts in South Sinai.

Here’s Shalakany’s page at the American University. It says he’s a member of the New York bar. He studied at Harvard and at Columbia, in the law, gender and sexuality program. Ford Foundation, Carnegie. From one of his posts at the Times before Mubarak stepped down:

I write these lines from a post-Mubarak time zone.  I know in my heart that we are experiencing a national revolution that has nothing to do with any political party. This sweet taste of freedom is as undeniably beautiful and true as the surprisingly dignified voice I’ve rediscovered in myself, and in watching ordinary fellow Egyptians turn heroes before my eyes.

He was a board member of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a group that advocated for gays. Here’s his piece, On a Certain Queer Discomfort with Orientalism, in which he refreshingly takes on Joseph Massad’s anti-orientalist response to western ideas of gay rights in the Arab world. (Thanks to Lydda ’48)

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Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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