14 November 1974 |
Wael Abbas (Arabic: وائل عباس, IPA: [ˈwæːʔel ʕæbˈbæːs]) (born 14 November 1974 in Egypt) is an internationally renowned Egyptian journalist, blogger, and human rights activist, who blogs at Misr Digital (Egyptian Awareness). He reported an incident of mob harassment of women, and broadcast several videos of police brutality. His actions led to the conviction of police for torture, but he has been harassed by the Egyptian government, and his accounts with YouTube and Yahoo were closed. YouTube has since restored his account and most of his videos. Facebook had deleted Wael's account but it has since been restored.
Accounts shut down by YouTube and Yahoo
In September 2007, his YouTube account was shut down. All the videos he had sent to YouTube were no longer available. They included videos of police brutality, voting irregularities and anti-government protests. About 12 or 13 were of violence in police stations. He was shocked by YouTube's decision.
Yahoo had shut down two of his email accounts, accusing him of being a spammer.
Human rights groups said that YouTube was shutting down a useful source of info on abuses in Egypt just as the government was increasing its crackdown on independent and opposition journalists. Twelve Egyptian journalists had been jailed between September and November 2007. Elijah Zarwan thinks that it was unlikely YouTube was reacting to official government pressure.
YouTube initially restored his account but not his videos, and said that his account was blocked because he failed to provide sufficient context about the violence. 187 of his videos were subsequently restored. Abbas has posted on his blog that Yahoo has restored his email account.
YouTube stated Abbas was banned "because the context was not apparent." The statement did not clarify whether they decided the missing context warranted the prompt ban, or whether the missing context misled them. It did conclude that Abbas should upload "with sufficient context."
- Abbas was a guest panelist on The Doha Debates' episode broadcast on BBC World News on November 13 and 14, 2010. The motion was: This House would prefer money to free elections. Abbas was against the motion and he won the debate.
Awards and honors
In 2008, Abbas turned down an invitation to meet with U.S. President George W. Bush.
Won the Human Rights Watch's Hellman/Hammett Award 2008.
Was named Middle East Person of the Year 2007 by CNN
Was considered one of the Most Influential People of 2006 by BBC
Won the Egyptians Against Corruption Award 2005/2006
- "YouTube shuts down Egyptian anti-torture activist's account". CNN. November 29, 2007.
- "Egyptian Blogger, Burmese Reporter Named 2007 Knight International Journalism Award Winners". International Center for Journalists. August 24, 2007.
- Johnston, Cynthia (November 27, 2007). "YouTube stops account of Egypt anti-torture activist". Reuters.
- Johnston, Cynthia (December 3, 2007). "YouTube restores account of Egypt anti-torture blogger". Reuters.
- Diehl, Jackson (December 17, 2007). "Egypt's YouTube Democrats". Washington Post.
- Abbas, Wael (December 5, 2007). "The Hoax of Restoring my Account by YouTube".
- Gorani, Hala. "Blogging and brutality". CNN Inside the Middle East Blog. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
- "Doha Debates' audience calls for democratic elections". The Doha Debates. November 11, 2010.
- Rakha, Marwa (December 5, 2008). "Egypt: Wael Abbas refuses to meet President Bush". Global Voices.
- "Wael Abbas". Fanoos.
- Wael Abbas' blog
- Wael Abbas on Twitter
- Wael Abbas' YouTube channel
- Video interview with Wael Abbas
- Wael Abbas on The Doha Debates
- Wael Abbas on Fil Omq, Egyptian Television, Channel 2
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