Egypt: New Crackdown on Pro-Democracy
Cairo- 2:30 pm, 7 May, 2006
A new crime within the series of crimes committed by Egypt’s security bodies has been carried out today in Bab El-Khalq Square, in front of the South Cairo Court. Security bodies arrested dozens of citizens who were to attend the investigations with the detainees who had been arrested earlier in the events of Monday 24 April.
The defense lawyers have been calling the advocates to attend the renewing detention investigations session as witnesses, but the security forces did not allow them to enter the court. Thousands of security men cordoned the advocates and prevented them from going into the court or leaving. The advocates stood cordoned for five hours, till the security forces started to arrest some of them wildly, and rudely insult all of them including journalists, lawyers and university professors.
Most likely, the police officers have been permitted by the ministry of interior to do whatever they are able to do in facing the advocates; an officer has clearly challenged the advocates that they would not be able to hold him accountable for the insults and assaults he has done to them. “We have had enough of you and we will use even shoes to deal with you” Officer Saied Sedhom said to the attendance.
The signed organizations believe that this maltreating the advocates when practicing their right to peaceful gathering in this way, starting few weeks ago, does unveil the ministry of interior’s brutal and wild side, and means that there is an urgent need to serious and hard work, not only to release the detained pro- democracy in Egypt, but also to hold the perpetrators accountable for these savage practices.
The investigations in such practices should be conducted by an examining magistrate, due to the public prosecution’s sluggishness in disciplining them, in a way that could be perceived as partiality.
Today’s investigation sessions was postponed to Monday 8 April, South Cairo Court, Bab El-Khalq
The arrested advocates:
Sarah Abdel Gelel
Ahmad Abdel Ghaffar
The Signed Organizations
Egyptian Association Against Torture (EAAT)
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo)
Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence
Association for the defense of Freedom of Thought and _Expression
Hisham Mubarak Law Center
National Association for Human Development and Human Rights
Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
Civil Observatory for Human Rights
Egyptian Organization for Human Rights
Rural Studies Centre
Maat Centre for legal and constitutional studies