Middle East

Egyptian police raid human rights group

At least one arrested in what rights groups say is the latest episode in a widening crackdown on opposition.

Last updated: 19 Dec 2013 16:48
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Rights groups say the Egyptian government has been cracking down on its opponents [Reuters]

Egyptian police have raided the offices of a local human rights organisation and arrested at least one person, the latest move in a widening crackdown on critics of the interim government.

Dozens of armed policemen entered the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights shortly after midnight on Thursday, according to Mahmoud Bilal, a lawyer for the organisation. Bilal was one of six people arrested during the raid.

For the first time since [the] January 25 [revolution], icons and activists from the revolutionary forces are being arrested without permission from the public prosecutor.

Bahieddin Hassan, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies

The lawyer said the six were held for nearly ten hours and that they were beaten, blindfolded and driven to an unknown location. Police also smashed several computers at the centre, he said.

Five of the staffers were later released. Mohamed Adel, a leading member of the April 6 political movement and a volunteer researcher at the centre, is still in custody.

“They [the police] said they were only going after Adel, but they held all of us for almost ten hours,” Bilal said.

The interior ministry has not made any public statements on the raid, and did not respond to a request for comment.

The interim government, installed after the army overthrew president Mohamed Morsi in July, has spent months cracking down on his Muslim Brotherhood organisation and its supporters. Thousands of people have been killed and arrested, with little public outcry.

But the crackdown has recently expanded to include secular activists.

Ahmed Maher, the founder of April 6, gave himself up to authorities last month after prosecutors ordered his arrest for inciting an unlicensed protest in November. Prosecutors had issued a warrant for Adel on similar charges.

A restrictive new law issued last month requires demonstrators to seek advance approval from the interior ministry.

Bahieddin Hassan, the director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, said human rights abuses have become “worse” than they were under longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

“For the first time since [the] January 25 [revolution], icons and activists from the revolutionary forces are being arrested without permission from the public prosecutor,” he said, referring to the revolt that overthrew Mubarak.

386

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
Activists say 'Honor Diaries' documentary exploits gender-based violence to further an anti-Islamic agenda.
As Syria's civil war escalates along the Turkish border, many in Turkey are questioning the country's involvement.
join our mailing list