Posts Tagged ‘statements and reports’

Human Rights Watch: Hundreds Still Held Over Gaza Protests

March 4, 2009

A statement from Human Rights Watch: Egyptian authorities should immediately charge or free Diaa Eddin Gad, a blogger held since February 6, 2009, Human Rights Watch said today. Gad is among a number of bloggers and activists arrested in relation to protest in Egypt since the beginning of the Gaza offensive in late December 2008. Apparently it’s not enough for the Egyptian government to imprison its own critics,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “It is now intent on silencing Egyptians who criticize Israel as well…

The Egyptian authorities have had little tolerance for any form of criticism over its stance on Israel’s offensive in Gaza. The government also has been under a great deal of international pressure to control the smuggling trade through the tunnels at Rafah. It has cooperated with Israel’s 20-month-long closure of Gaza by keeping its Rafah crossing closed for most of that time.

With the disproportionate powers granted to them under an emergency law, the SSI have arrested a number of bloggers and activists who have been critical of the war in Gaza and the closing of the Egyptian  border with Gaza, among other things.

The Muslim Brotherhood, technically a banned organization, organized the largest of the street demonstrations, especially those outside of Cairo, in Alexandria and Tanta. Muslim Brotherhood representatives told Human Rights Watch that 711 of their members arrested since the start of the Gaza conflict remain imprisoned.

Public protests are illegal under the Egyptian emergency law. But a blanket ban on demonstrations is incompatible with Egypt’s obligations to respect the right to freedom of expression and assembly under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Read more.


NGO condemns public prosecution, implicates it in detention of blogger

February 26, 2009

From Daily News Egypt: “Egyptian NGO the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has launched a stinging attack on the public prosecution office for what it describes as its “contribution” to the detention of a blogger who disappeared 19 days ago. In the statement ANHRI says that it is “extremely disappointed” by the public prosecution office’s “tarrying” in holding to account the state security investigations officers alleged to have kidnapped 23-year-old Diaa Eddin Gad.” Read more.

Amnesty: Egyptian blogger held incommunicado is at risk of torture

February 21, 2009

From Amnesty International: “A student blogger critical of Egypt’s policy towards the Gaza Strip is believed to have been held incommunicado in the custody of State Security Investigations (SSI) services and at risk of torture since his arrest on 6 February. The Egyptian authorities have still not disclosed the whereabouts of 23-year-old Dia’ el Din Gad, despite his family’s and lawyers’ inquiries to the Ministry of the Interior and the office of the Public Prosecutor. The blogger had been denouncing President Mubarak and the Egyptian authorities’ attitude to the delivery of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza. “Dia’ el Din Gad has simply disappeared since his arrest two weeks ago, causing terrible anxiety to his mother and raising growing fears of torture and enforced disappearance” said Amnesty International.”

Also see the Urgent Appeal for Action.

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.