Tuesday, January 9, 2018

EGYPT: Government Critics Arrested - URGENT ACTION

Amnesty International, Jan. 6, 2018

On 16 November, security agents in plain clothes arrested Egyptian social media figure Islam al-Refaei. The Egyptian authorities ordered him to be detained on the trumped-up charge of “belonging to a banned group”. 
The prosecution originally ordered his detention for 15 days pending an investigation into the charge of him “joining a banned group”...According to Islam al-Refaei’s lawyers, the detention order relied only on information from the National Security Agency. On 13 December, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered the renewal of Islam al-Refaei’s detention for another 15 days. Islam al-Refaei is...has previously drawn criticism for his posts that challenge religious and cultural norms in Egypt. 

On 7 December, security forces arrested two journalists, Hossam el-Swefy and Ahmed Abdel Aziz. Both were arrested during a peaceful demonstration in front of the premises of the Journalists’ Syndicate. The prosecutor has decided to pursue the case against the two journalists and that against Islam al-Refaei’s as one case and added four more individuals to it. The four other individuals were arrested on two separate occasions.