8 Egyptians detained over Democratic Reform pledge

8 Egyptians detained over Democratic Reform pledge

CAIRO: The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has called on the Damanhur – a small city some two hours north of Cairo – prosecution to release 8 Egyptian activists arrested over their participation in a discussion at the social club square in Damanhour in support to the National Assembly for Change. At the meeting, citizens called on others to pledge their demands for democratic reform in Egypt, including amending the Constitution and to repeal the emergency laws.

According to the pan-Arab rights organization, Egyptian security “burst” onto the assembly of about 19 people who had gathered in the square discuss the demands of democratic reform and were calling on citizens to sign the demands of the pledge sent forth from the national committee.

“Security forces targeted 8 political activists, from different streams, including [the] coordinator of the National Assembly for Change in Al Behyra governorate,” ANHRI said in a press release.

ANHRI said that the Egyptian security men had taken the detainees to the SSI headquarters in Damanhur  in the evening Thursday, May 20, and after half an hour they were taken to the police station of Damanhur “to be brought before the prosecution in the early hours of the morning.”

“The background of that was due to a legitimate discussion concerning the demands of democratic reform, amend the constitution, the abolition of emergency law and to provide strong safeguards in the next election,” ANHRI reported.

Damanhur prosecution accused the detainees of belonging to a banned organization and promoting via word of mouth and writing “to disable the provisions of the Constitution and the law and the distribution of leaflets and posters of the National Assembly for change,” according to the Administrative record No. 4125 of 2010.

The prosecution also charged the group with “collecting representation for a person named Mohammed El-Baradei and disrupting traffic.” The prosecution confronted the defendants with more than 300 leaflets and 55 posters of the National Assembly the change and 15 to approve “signatures on the demands of democratic reform.”

The prosecution decided to complete the investigation while the defendants were being detained.

ANHRI expressed its “deep concern [over] the arrest of a group of political activists by the Egyptian security. The activists gathered in a peaceful way to express their opinion among themselves, discuss the demands of change with the citizens and convince them of what they see as appropriate, through the exchange of views. ANHRI condemned the prosecution for considering the National Assembly to change as a banned organization, and democratic reforms demands as a punishable charge.

“We may disagree with them but it is not appropriate to try them as they have a different peaceful view to that of the Egyptian government.”

Those arrested:

Dr.Adel Al Attar – Coordinator of Kefaya movement in Damnhur

Ahmed Milad – Head of the al-Ghad political committee and coordinator of the National Assembly for Change in the Behyra governorate

Fareed Abd Elmaqsoud – Member of Tagama’a’ party

Ahmed Basyoni – Member of Kefaya

Ahmed Medhat – Member of the National Assembly for Change

Hani Idris – Member of the National Assembly for Change

Esam Goida – Member of Kefaya

Mohamed Batour – Member of the National Assembly for Change

Republished with permission frombikya masr