Blogs have erupted over the disappearance of documentary film maker/blogger/freelance journalist Philip Rizk. The grad student at AUC (American University in Cairo) was among a group of peaceful protesters detained on Friday after a march supporting Gaza. Releasing all but Rizk, the Egyptian police then placed him in a car with no license plates. Knowing the risk of losing him to the black hole of the Egyptian prison system, friends threw themselves in the car’s path trying unsuccessfully to prevent its departure. Philip’s whereabouts remain unconfirmed by the Egyptian government.
Protests for his release have been held outside the public prosecuter’s office and at AUC, yet it is the internet activity that will perhaps prove more useful. Within hours of his kidnapping a facebook group
had appeared: facebook has already proven a useful activists’ tool in the Middle East, drawing the attention of the New York Times.
Yet the government has demonstrated its willingness to crack down on even moderate protesters, which it sees as more of a threat than radical Islamists, which the West would not allow to come to power. Big Think expert Naomi Klein hopes that journalism is used as a tool for social change rather than simply an act of investigation: let’s hope that bloggers, facebook, and the internet can help change one thing and get Rizk out of jail.