Mohamed Adel – detained since 20 November

February 17, 2009
Mohamed Adel

Mohamed Adel

The Daily News reports: “On Nov. 20, 2008, 20-year-old IT student and political activist Mohamed Adel was surrounded by a large group of men in plain clothing while he was sitting in a Downtown Cairo café, and bundled into a car. Rights NGO the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) suggested in a statement issued last year that the police had tapped Adel’s mobile phone and snatched him on his way to a meeting with a foreign journalist. A  formal arrest warrant was issued on Nov. 24 — four days after Adel’s disappearance. When Adel’s father, Adel Fahmy, went to see his son in Cairo’s Tora Prison on Dec. 8 — after receiving information that his son was being held there — prison authorities told him that “they were not at liberty to give him any information” about Adel and prevented Fahmy from seeing him.

According to RSF, Mohammed Adel makes clear his support for Hamas on his blog and openly criticises President Mubarak, accusing him of “being more concerned about the security of Israelis than of the Palestinian people”. The arrest confirm Egypt’s place among the 15 countries we list as ‘Internet Enemies’”, the worldwide press freedom organisation said. “When it comes to silencing a blogger, who by definition does not have a news organisation ready to publicly support him, the Egyptian authorities do not bother themselves with following the most basic rules of law”.

The Daily News reports that the first hearing of a case lodged against the Interior Minister on behalf of Adel has been adjorned by the Administrative Court until March 23. “The petition demands that Adel’s whereabouts, and the reason for his continued detention, be revealed. It also calls for LE 1 million in damages to be awarded to Adel for the financial and psychological harm caused by his detention.”

Prison adminstration refused visit to Magdy Hussein by wife and lawyer

February 17, 2009

From Egypt and Beyond: The prison administration in Port Said refused a visit to Magdy Hussen, secretary-general of the “suspended” Labour Party, by his wife and laywer, al-Badeel reports. The administration says regulations don’t allow visits in the first 11 days, and refused to make an exception. Hussein was sentenced to two years in jail last week by a military court for visiting Gaza without a permission.

According to a report in al-Youm al-Sabi3, Hussein sent a letter to his wife stating that we doesn’t want to present a plea for pardon to the president, as his party was planning.

Magdy Hussein: Military Trial and Prison for Visiting Gaza in Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

February 16, 2009

Magdy Hussein

Magdy Hussein

On Wednesday 11 February, Magdy Hussein, head of the Labour Party, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for visiting Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinian people. This is the background from the Egyptian Organization For Human Rights: “Hussein traveled to Gaza Strip to express Egyptian people’s solidarity with Palestinian case. The Egyptian authority stopped him as soon as he had arrived at Rafah Crossing after his return from Gaza Strip on Saturday 31/1/2009. He was charged with “sneaking to Gaza Strip illegally” . The investigations were conducted at the military prosecution at El Arish governorate which issued its decision on 3/2/2009 by submitting “Magdy Ahmed Hussein” to the military court in case NO.11 -2009- military Misdemeanor. The military court issued its decision according to the presidential decision No.298 -1995.

EOHR states that “submitting civilians to the military courts is a decision that violates the Egyptian Constitution and the international conventions concerning the right to fair trial which is one of the most important foundations for achieving justice and equal opportunity without prejudice the rights of other citizens. Article 68 of the Egyptian Constitution provided that “Litigation is a right guaranteed to all people and each citizen has the right to resort to the natural judge, the State guarantees the rapid disposition of cases ””

Egypt seizes aid, arrests doctors

February 15, 2009

From AFP: “Egyptian police on Thursday seized 2,200 tonnes of food and medical aid destined for the Gaza Strip and arrested two members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood responsible for the goods. Hossam al-Shurbagi and Kamel al-Shaarawi, members of the Doctors Syndicate’s committee for aid to Gaza and responsible for three warehouses that were raided in northern Sinai, were arrested, Shurbagi told AFP from in detention. A security official said that the two were accused of illegally storing goods. Shurbagi said the aid was being stored pending a reopening of the Rafah crossing, which Egypt closed on February 5 to all but exceptional cases after opening it to aid and wounded Palestinians during Israel’s war on Hamas.” Read on.

Egyptian security must be called to account, despite the release of Philip Rizk

February 14, 2009

The Arabic Network for Human Rights information calls for Egyptian security to be held to account for the kidnapping and mental abuse of activist Philip Rizk, after his taking part in a solidarity march to Gaza on the 6 of February. Interviewed by ANHRI, Philip said, “I was repeatedly questioned about everything and I was terrified. Although I was not abused physically, I was blind-folded all the time. Officers kept saying to me: “Do you know what we can do to you?”, and I was threatened with long term imprisonment. They asked me if I supported Hamas, was working for Israel, and, being Christian, if I was an evangelist. I was never informed of any charges against me.”

Since the arrest, state security has also censored Rizk’s blog, Tabula Gaza.

Diaa Eddin Gad – detained 6 Februari 2009

February 14, 2009

Free Diaa Eddin Gad

From Egypt and Beyond: “23-year old blogger Diaa Eddin Gad was detained by Egyptian state security in front of his family’s house in a village outside Tanta on 6 February 2009. Michael Slackman reports for IHT: “Gad was seated at his computer working on his blog. His mother had just laid out lunch and his older sister was behind him studying for medical school. His phone rang, he walked outside, so as not to disturb his sister, and was jumped by four officers.”

One week later, the authorities still refused to say where he was beeing held, or why he was detained. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior told the IHT that “related bodies are examining his case,” describing the kidnapping and incommunicado detention as “regular procedure.” (Which is true of course, if you are working for a mafia).
According to the IHT, Gad was arrested after taking part in a peaceful demonstration in Cairo, organized by the liberal Wafd party, and he has also been described as a member of the Kifaya movement. He is the author of a blog called Sawt Ghadib, or “angry voice”, where he has expressed support for the Palestinian struggle and criticism of the Egyptian regime for it’s participation in the siege of Gaza.

According to The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information “bloggers have become a major target of the police authorities in Egypt and all these assaults are committed outside the law or under the cloak of the emergency state. ANHRI demands that all defenders of freedom of expression join hands to bring an end to this abominable state of emergency.”