American Jailed in Egypt to Obama: Help Me

Mohamed Soltan was arrested amid protests last year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2014 8:24 AM CDT

A 26-year-old Egyptian American was imprisoned in Egypt last summer, and he's calling on President Obama to help him regain his freedom. Mohamed Soltan recorded a video addressed to the president earlier this year; it was smuggled out of prison in Cairo before his sister handed it to the New York Times. "Before getting arrested, I was documenting crimes against justice, against humanity, against democracy in Egypt, trying to share my American principles with young Egyptians," he says. The Ohio State University grad appeared in court on May 11 after more than 100 days on a hunger strike, and could no longer stand.

"I’ve had my freedom stripped away from me," he says in the video. "Why? Because I was living by the same values and principles that our founding fathers built this great nation on." He asks the government: "Is my life not worth anything to you? Has the life of American citizens become worthless? Or is it because my name is Mohamed?" Soltan goes on to note that the US "moved mountains and sent a chartered plane to evacuate my fellow—blond-haired, blue-eyed—Americans, who were being detained by the same Egyptian military back in 2012." Soltan was arrested following the clearing of a protest camp last year, the Guardian noted last month. (More Mohamed Soltan stories.)

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