Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Friday, June 15, 2007

More Egyptian dissidents arrested

Abdellatif Muhammad Said is just one of the many names that has been added to the list of detained activists in Egypt in the wake of Monday’s parliamentary elections. Said was taken from his home in the middle of the night, along with documents he produced for his business, which promotes an unconventional view of Islam, and has been imprisoned for over two weeks now, The New York Times reported today.

Arrests of Egyptian activists have been on the rise of late. Amr Tharwat, Said’s cousin and an employee at Cairo’s Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, has also been arrested. Tharwat was supposed to serve as an observer for the elections that took place on Monday, but was unable to do so because he was arrested on the same night as Said. Tharwat is being held at an undisclosed location, charges have not been made public, and he has been denied legal representation. Some have alleged that the arrest is linked to Tharwat’s participation in the controversial Quranic movement. The Ibn Khaldun Center issued a statement Sunday calling for Tharwat’s release.

Government officials have refused to comment on any of the recent arrests, or the events affiliated with the elections. Some observers are claming that ballot boxes were already full when the polls opened, but the government has also denied these claims. In the end, 69 of the 71 parliamentary seats that were decided went to the governing party. The government adheres to its position that the elections were fair and open.

One member of the governing National Democratic Party, Ezzat Darag, did speak out to defend the government by saying, “the general atmosphere is freedom, freedom, freedom. You can’t open up all the way. There has to be a ceiling of respect.”

For the full article, click here.



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