Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Human Rights Watch statement on Alaá

I usally don´t like to publish statements in full, but i´m making an exception to that rule now, this is important enough for an exception but also because of me, not being able to reach the HRW website at this moment. I hope Joe, Sarah and Fadi don´t mind. But before giving you the whole statement in it´s entirety, i would like to start with a quote by Joe Stork:

"These new arrests indicate that President Mubarak intends to silence
peaceful opposition,"

This is the direct link to the HRW statement, thanks to Freedom for Egyptians!

Egypt: Award-Winning Blogger Among New Arrests
More Than 100 Now Held in Political Protests

(New York, May 10, 2006) – Egyptian security officials arrested 11 more
political reform activists, including an award-winning blogger, Alaa
Ahmed Seif al-Islam, Human Rights Watch said today. This brings to
more than 100 the number of people detained over the past two weeks for
exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and expression.

Approximately half of those arrested are members of the Muslim
Brotherhood who were putting up posters and distributing leaflets
protesting the April 30 extension of emergency rule for another two
The Emergency Law has been in effect since President Hosni Mubarak
came to power in October 1981. The others were detained for
demonstrating in support of a group of judges campaigning for greater
judicial independence.

"These new arrests indicate that President Mubarak intends to silence
peaceful opposition," said Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights
Watch's Middle East and North Africa division.

The latest arrests occurred on May 7 near the South Cairo Court where
activists arrested on April 24 were scheduled to appear before a judge.
Police released three of the 11 new detainees, but transferred the
remaining eight to the Heliopolis state security prosecutor, who
their detention for 15 days. The eight detained are: Ahmed `Abd al-
Gawad, Ahmed `Abd al-Ghaffar, Alaa Ahmed Seif al-Islam, Asma'a `Ali,
Fadi Iskandar, Karim al-Sha`ir, Nada al-Qassas and Rasha Azab.

On May 8, authorities extended for another 15 days the detention of a
dozen activists arrested on April 24. They initially faced charges of
blocking traffic, but the authorities later transferred their cases to
security prosecutors. Yesterday, authorities extended the detention of
activists arrested on April 26 and 27 for another 15 days. All those
arrested between April 24 and May 7 for demonstrating now face charges
of "insulting the president," "spreading false rumors," and "disturbing
public order" under the parallel state security legal system set up
under the
Emergency Law.

According to a statement published on an activist Web site, activists
detained between April 24 and 27 have begun a hunger strike to protest
prison conditions, including threats of torture and ill-treatment.

"The activists detained over the past two weeks should be released
immediately, unharmed," Stork said. "The Egyptian government is
responsible under international law for their safety."

The campaign of judges for greater judicial independence has become a
rallying point for political reform activists. The Judges' Club, the
official professional organization for members of the judiciary,
refused to
certify the results of last year's parliamentary elections after more
100 of the judges reported irregularities at polling stations. In
the government-controlled Supreme Judicial Council stripped four of the
most vocal judges of their judicial immunity.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a journalist at The Daily Star Egypt and I have noticed that you do not have our link on your blog. We have been and are in the midst of covering the opposition protests, detentions and state errors. I hope you have been reading our paper. We are online at It is, in my mind, the best source for Egyptian news, in English, available in this country. I would love to hear feedback on our paper. We are still reacting too much, but I hope the near future will change this and we will be the leader that we should be.


9:43 PM  
Blogger Ibn ad Dunya said...

I have your link, on my blogroll,(sorry a bit confusing) since the first day, and love Daily star Egypt´s work! As you may have noticed i have linked to you in several of my posts lately. Sometimes you have stories in English that nobody else cover. I haven´t seen the news about the Giza criminal dropped the charges against al fajr´s Amira Malash anywhere else for instance, i´m probably going to post about it later tonight,some good news , finally! I have to say, that your modership, daily star Beirut and Rami Khoury rocks! He´s piece about the judges club today was really inspireing, let´s hope he´s right, Hesham Bestawisi, and Mahmoud Mekky et al compared with Lech Walesa! I just hope his right. And let´s hope that we will not see more arrests tomorrow. I´m delighted that you posted the comment , and please feel free to come back and comment on whatever subject i´m focusing on for the moment!

1:38 AM  
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11:29 AM  

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