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The Weekly Standard: Our Brothers In Blogging

Al-Jazeera journalists gather at the pan-Arab television channel's bureau in Cairo on January 30, 2011.
Mohammed Abed
/
AFP/Getty Images
Al-Jazeera journalists gather at the pan-Arab television channel's bureau in Cairo on January 30, 2011.

Lee Smith is a senior editor atThe Weekly Standard . He is the author ofThe Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations.

Over the last several years, our brother-in-blogging in Cairo, the Egyptian Sandmonkey, has made a name for himself as one of the Middle East's most irreverent commentators. Anti-anti-Bush and anti-anti-Zionist, his free-wheeling blog, where he often responds to commenters — especially of the Islamist and Arab nationalist variety — is also a menu of his appetites for, among others, women, food, drink, and freedom. A supporter of the freedom agenda in the Middle East before there was a Freedom Agenda, it is hardly surprising that Sandmonkey went to the streets last week in Cairo with thousands of other Egyptians to demand his freedom. His blog is now down and we have word from Egypt that he was arrested and beaten and now, according to his account here in the Guardian, released.

In the past, Egyptian authorities have detained Egyptians for days, months, and sometimes years. No doubt recent events in Cairo will offer them plenty of opportunities to detain more people and to settle scores. The Weekly Standard is going to keep a record of all those — including not but not limited to journalists, bloggers, activists — who have been arrested or have gone missing. If you want the name publicized, please let us know; otherwise the names will be kept confidential to protect detainees until it is time to demand an accounting from Egyptian authorities.

In the meantime, Michael Totten has republished Sandmonkey's last post before his blog was taken down.

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Lee Smith