Search

 

Cablegate: Egyptian Quranist Detained, Released

VZCZCXRO5349
PP RUEHROV
DE RUEHEG #2229 3361434
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 021434Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4366
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

C O N F I D E N T I A L CAIRO 002229

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR DRL/IRF

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2029
TAGS: PHUM PGOV KIRF KISL EG
SUBJECT: EGYPTIAN QURANIST DETAINED, RELEASED

REF: A. CAIRO 713
B. 07 CAIRO 1938

Classified By: Economic-Political Minister-Counselor Donald A. Blome for reason 1.4 (d).
1. Key Points: -- (SBU) On November 18, security officials at Cairo International Airport detained Abdel Latif Mohamed Saied, a member of the heterodox Islamic Quranist movement, when he attempted to board a flight for Khartoum. -- (C) On November 24, Embassy Cairo raised Saied's detention with Deputy Assistant Foreign Minister for Human Rights Wael Aboul Magd. On November 25, the GOE released Saied. -- (C) According to the Egyptian Initiative for Individual Rights (EIPR), a local human rights group that provides legal representation to Saied, he was not mistreated in detention.

2. (C) Comment: Egypt's Quranist movement, which considers the Koran the sole basis for Islamic law, is a small group that consists primarily of members of the extended family of Ahmed Sobhy Mansour, an Egyptian who operates the International Quranic Center in Northern Virginia. Despite the group's limited influence in Egypt, the GOE periodically arrests and otherwise harasses Quranists here. While the GOE's motives for doing so are unclear, possibilities include pressure from Egypt's Islamic institutions to suppress unorthodox religious thought and the movement's association with expatriate Egyptian reform advocates. End Comment. ------------------ Saied's Travel Ban ------------------

3. (C) Saied, a half-brother of Ahmed Sobhy Mansour, also attempted unsuccessfully to leave Egypt in April 2009 to travel to the U.S. to participate in the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy's annual conference (ref A). After security officials refused to permit him to travel in April, the EIPR filed suit against Egypt's Ministry of the Interior (MOI) challenging the travel ban. According to the EIPR, the MOI responded to the lawsuit by denying that Saied was barred from travel. A hearing in that case was scheduled for November 24, but postponed at EIPR's request because of Saied's detention.

4. (C) According to EIPR, Saied attempted to travel on November 18 to establish for his court case that he was subject to a travel ban. Alternatively, Saied hoped that with thousands of Egyptian soccer fans traveling to Khartoum on November 18 to attend the Egypt-Algeria soccer match, emigration officials would be overwhelmed and inadvertently permit him to travel. EIPR said that if Saied had been successful in traveling to Khartoum, he would have traveled onward to the U.S., entered with his valid U.S. visa, and, presumably, requested asylum. (Note: In June 2007, the GOE arrested Saied, charged him with "defamation of religion," and then released him in October 2007 (ref B). End note.)

5. (C) On November 24, we contacted the MFA's Wael Aboul Magd regarding Saied. Aboul Magd claimed to be unaware of the case, but committed to looking into it. On November 25, the GOE released Saied. Saied told EIPR he was not mistreated while in custody, but was given no explanation for his detention. Tueller

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: Vaccine Inequity Triggers ‘Huge Disconnect’ Between Countries

Although COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to decline globally for a second consecutive week, the UN health agency chief said on Monday that “a huge disconnect” is mounting between some highly vaccinated countries, which see the pandemic as largely resolved, ... More>>

Save The Children: Almost 60 Children Killed In Gaza In The Last Week Alone

Save the Children is calling for an immediate ceasefire by all parties, as 58 children[i] in Gaza and two children in southern Israel have been killed in the last week. More than a thousand people in Gaza, including 366 children[ii], have also been injured. ... More>>


IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>