The Internet In the Arab World
A New Space of Repression?
No Rules, No Limits
United Arab Emirates:
Freedom of expression is missing despite a decision banning imprisonment for press crimes
Mass Arrest of Internet Activists in Egypt Yesterday and Abduction of Ahmed Maher in Alexandria Today
Cairo on 24th of July, 2008
Egyptian security Agencies arrested 14 young Internet activists yesterday, said the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. The group of activists are known as the “6th of April Youth.” During a journey to Alexandria yesterday, they were detained in the quarters of the State Security Inspectors well known as the “Pharaohs.”
Today Ahmed Maher, a member of the group, was arrested by policemen while walking in the Arraml station of Alexandria. Both yesterday and today’s arrests indicate that security agencies are targeting 35 young men and women who are members of the “6th of April” group and all attending a trip arranged by the group.
The “6 April Youth” organized a trip to Alexandria yesterday, since it was an official holiday on the occasion of July's revolution. While they were roaming around the Corniche of Alexandria, doing nothing but signing national songs, they were taken in many cars to the headquarters of the State Security Inspectors in Alexandria otherwise known as “Pharaohs' Quarters.” They have not appeared before the prosecution and they have not been accused of any breach.
Mahenor Al Masri in a phone call had mentioned “ the officers had beaten them in the headquarters of the “Pharaohs”, and seized the list of participants on the trip which numbered 50 of young men and women.
Today at 1:00 o'clock in the afternoon, and while the activist Ahmed Maher was walking in the square of Alrramal station, he was shocked by number of police men abducting him, and taking him to an unidentified place, which is believed to be par of the “Pharaohs'” headquarters.
ANHRI tried to contact the young men arrested yesterday and Ahmed Maher, but all their mobile phones are turned off, which raises concerns, especially with the well-known practice of torture in state security detections quarter “Pharaohs.”
Until this moment, not one of the Internet activists have been released or have appeared before the prosecution to face any charges. In addition, the security agencies have not given any reasons for arresting and withholding them.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information strongly condemns the abduction of the activists, condemn their illegal detention, call for the Minister of the Interior affairs to bear full responsibility for their safety, and demand their immediate release or at the least call a court appearance and announce the reasons for their arrest.
The abducted activists names are:
1- Khalid Adil
2- Mahinor Al Masri
3- Yousuf Sha'ban
4- Basim Fathi
5- Mustafa Mahir
7- Nur Al Din Subhi
8- Medhat Shakir
9- Mutasim Bellah Mohamed
10- Tarig Tito
11- Mohamed Mahmoud
12- Ahmed Nassar
13- Ahmed Afifi
14- ********* his name still unknown
15- Ahmed Mahir “Abducted this Afternoon”