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State security raids home, detains Brotherhood blogger
State security officials raided both the family home and personal residence of prominent Muslim Brotherhood (MB) blogger Abdel Moneim Mahmoud early Friday morning and subsequently detained the activist late on Saturday night, said Egyptian human rights activists. Mahmoud was not present during the raids because he was allegedly in hiding from the authorities during the weekend prior to his de
Tuesday, April 17,2007 00:00
by Alexandra Sandels, Daily Star Egypt
State security officials raided both the family home and personal residence of prominent Muslim Brotherhood (MB) blogger Abdel Moneim Mahmoud early Friday morning and subsequently detained the activist late on Saturday night, said Egyptian human rights activists.

Mahmoud was not present during the raids because he was allegedly in hiding from the authorities during the weekend prior to his detainment on Saturday night.

According to Tarek Mounir from press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, state security turned up at Mahmoud’s house in Cairo around 6 am on Friday in search of his laptop and some computer accessories.

Shortly after the raid the young blogger sent a message to fellow bloggers and journalists telling them that he was going to turn himself in.

 “I am not sure what exactly the state security officials were looking for, but they didn’t find it since they decided to raid the home of Mahmoud’s sick father in Alexandria a few hours later. All I know is that Mahmoud has been very active in his blogging in the past week. His blog is a constant thorn on the side of the Egyptian authorities,” Mounir told The Daily Star Egypt.

He also stressed that Mahmoud’s family was intimidated and pressured to give out their son’s mobile phone number and reveal his whereabouts to security officials in Alexandria.

As of Saturday, no official arrest warrant had been issued for Mahmoud’s arrest.

“I am not sure why they are after him except for his blogging. What they’ll do is detain him and produce the warrant later. That’s usually how it works,” Mounir sighed.

Mahmoud was reportedly detained in the past when he was allegedly tortured in 2004, according to reports on the Egyptian blogosphere.

As the moderator of a blog critical of the government called “Ana Ikhwan” (“I am a Brother”), Mahmoud blogs on a wide range of sensitive topics including torture and military tribunals and serves as a prominent link between the Muslim Brotherhood, journalists, and human rights activists in Egypt.

“They call him ‘Ikhwan’s Reuters.’ Polite, diplomatic and does not miss an event, whether organized by the Islamists or secularists, Moneim enjoys wide popularity among his peers in Brotherhood and leftist circles,” blogger and journalist Hossam El-Hamalawy wrote on his popular blog www.arabawy.org.

The arrest comes as part of another crackdown on the Egypt’s largest opposition bloc.

According to a Reuters report the police have detained 20 students and three older professionals from the MB.

A police report accused the older men — a university lecturer, a pharmacist and an engineer — of financing and organizing the students.

The students belong to an agricultural faculty in the north Cairo suburb of Shubra.

The detentions bring to 33 the number of Brotherhood members taken into custody in the last two days. Nine of which were detained in the Nile Delta town of Damanhour on
Thursday evening.   

The Interior Ministry told Reuters it had no information about the latest detentions. –With additional reporting by Reuters.

Abd Mon’em Mahmoud, Ana-Ikhwan Blog

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