Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cairo tightens grip on dissent

There has been a turbulent atmosphere in Egypt the past few months and The Washington Post reported on Sunday that the doors have been closed at an Egyptian human rights law group that was at the forefront of court battles over accusations of torture in Egypt's jails, after the group was accused by the government of illegally receiving funds from abroad.

The past month has seen, among other arrests, the conviction of the four journalists for defaming President Hosni Mubarak.

“What I am feeling is there is a kind of nervousness. They are very nervous within the regime,” said Diaa Rashwan, a political analyst at Cairo’s al-Ahram Centre. “Now there is an effort to prepare for the post-Mubarak era. Nobody knows what is the arrangement, what is already done, what are the chances of his son Gamal Mubarak (taking over).”

Other cases also attest to Cairo’s tightened grip on free expression. According to the article: “Some 40 Brotherhood members, including a top leader, are on trial in a military court on charges including terrorism and money laundering in proceedings rights groups including Amnesty International have dismissed as unfair. More than 120 other Brotherhood men are in jail, unrelated to that case.”

In addition, Egypt faced pressure in 2002 over the arrest of sociologist Saad Eddin Ibrahim and in 2005 over the detention of opposition politician Ayman Nour.

Other recent cases have also drawn condemnation. According to the article: “A government-appointed panel of forensic experts cleared police of wrongdoing earlier this month in the case of a 13-year-old boy, arrested on suspicion of stealing packets of tea, who died shortly after being released from police custody.” According to an internationally respected Egyptian anti-torture group, the El-Nadim Centre, the boy had been beaten and subjected to electric shocks, and then received inadequate care.

For full article click here.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home