Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ibn Khaldun communications blocked, as founder comes under attack for stance on aid

As noted in a press release issued by the Leadership Council on Tuesday, staff members from Cairo’s Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies (ICDS) have reported that their outgoing communications have been blocked for more than one week, with emails and faxes to ICDS staff outside of Egypt and members of the human rights community being filtered or tampered with.

The embargo on outgoing messages comes as complaints were submitted by Dr. Nabil Lo’a Bibawi to Egypt’s Public Prosecutor, accusing ICDS Founder Dr. Saad Eddin Ibrahim of, according to an article from this week’s Al-Ahram Weekly, “committing a crime (under the Egyptian penal code), for damaging the state’s economic interests.” The accusation reportedly stems from Ibrahim’s recent meeting in Prague with President Bush. The press has reported that Ibrahim asked Bush to cut down aid to Egypt as a way of pressuring the government to respect human rights. Bibawi argues that this is a crime because Ibrahim was working for a foreign country in a way that could cause harm to Egypt’s political or economic well being. As such he has also charged Ibrahim with espiongage.

The uproar over Ibrahim’s meeting with Bush was also reported in a recent New York Times article.

For the full Times article, click here.



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