Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Egyptian Shiite activist released from jail after two months

Mohammed el-Derini, a well-known representative of Egypt’s small Shiite Muslim community, was released from prison Saturday because of lack of evidence and health reasons, The Associated Press reported Sunday.

El-Derini said his release was ordered by Interior Minister Habib el-Adly. He had been in jail for two months without being charged.

According to the article: “El-Derini, who is also the secretary-general of the Supreme Council for the Care of the Prophet’s Descendants, an unlicensed non-governmental organization, said he was accused of ‘using the Council and its affiliate, the Imam Ali Center for Human Rights, for advocating and propagating Shiites ideologies.’”

“There was no evidence and we refuted these allegations and proved that we have been defending the human rights of every Egyptian of all religions or sects ... It seems that my increased activity in support of all the detainees has angered the government,” el-Derini said in a telephone interview.

After being put in a solitary confinement cell for 40 days without being able to see the sun, el-Derini said his health deteriorated and he began to suffer from heart and stomach problems.

According to the article: “The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said in a statement on Sunday that the state security court ordered el-Derini’s release on Nov. 13 following an appeal by its lawyers. The interior minister could have appealed the ruling but instead also ordered that he be released.”

El-Derini was taken from his home by security forces in a dawn raid on October 1.

“He was previously detained for 15 months in 2004 and 2005 before being released following an international campaign led by the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. The U.N. agency considered his arrest as ‘in contravention’ of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Egypt’s obligations in the charter,” the article notes, adding that: “After his release, he said security agents interrogated him about being a Shiite Muslim and about fellow Shiites in Egypt, an overwhelmingly Sunni majority country.”

For the full article, click here.



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