World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Egypt: Peaceful Critics Arrested in Clampdown

Egypt: Peaceful Critics Arrested in Clampdown on Dissent Mubarak Government Should Release Detained Parliamentarian, Activists

The Egyptian government should immediately release a member of parliament and other peaceful critics arrested in recent days on politically motivated charges, Human Rights Watch said today in a letter to President Hosni Mubarak. The president should instruct security officials to cease the systematic harassment and intimidation of peaceful dissidents. “The government raised hopes that Egypt was turning a new page on human rights when it permitted a public demonstration against President Mubarak in December,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “But today, the government’s radical crackdown on peaceful dissent sends the message that there’s no place for democratic freedoms under Mubarak.”

The letter to President Mubarak raised the following recent incidents:

• On Saturday, January 29, security forces arrested Ayman Nur, elected member of the People’s Assembly, in a public and physically abusive manner. He has been detained for 45 days while “investigations” continue into a complaint by an Interior Ministry office regarding his alleged forgery of signatures for the establishment of Al-Ghad, a legal opposition party which he heads.

• On Friday, January 28, security forces detained journalist Ibrahim al-Sahar, lawyer Marwa Faruq, and student Baho Baksh on charges of “incitement against public order” as they distributed leaflets at the annual Cairo International Book Fair calling for a demonstration on February 4 against President Mubarak standing unopposed for a fifth term. The three have been given a 14-day sentence.

• Also on January 29, security forces raided the Book Fair booth of Dar Mirit, an independent private publishing house, and confiscated the literature of the Socialist Studies Center, despite the fact that the center and its publications are both legal.

• The Ministry of Culture’s National Book Authority, which sponsors the Book Fair, banned Dr. Mohamed al-Sayyid Sa`id, deputy director of the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, from scheduled appearances at the Book Fair after he made remarks at a public meeting with President Mubarak on the necessity for constitutional reform.

• On Monday, January 31, police reportedly carried out pre-dawn raids in Zagazig, a provincial capital in the Nile Delta, and arrested nine persons allegedly affiliated with the Muslim Brothers, among them medical doctors, engineers, a university professor and a mosque leader.

“The government has arrested and banned these critics simply for exercising their rights to freedom of speech and assembly and association,” Whitson said. “The authorities should release them from custody at once and put an end to these repressive tactics.”

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news