Continued detention of bloggers shows disregard for law in Egypt

Continued detention of bloggers shows disregard for law in Egypt

Six days have passed since the detention of bloggers Magdi Saad and Abdel Rahman Ayyash. According to information available to the Muslim Brotherhood, they have not as of yet been transferred for questioning and remain in State Security custody.

The two bloggers were arrested following their return from Turkey last Tuesday evening. Saad and Ayyash were held for 40 hours inside the Cairo International Airport"s security headquarters before being transferred to the State Security headquarters in the governorates of Cairo and Dakahliya, respectively.

The bloggers remain held under illegal and unjustifiable detention, which violates the Procedure Code of Egyptian law. That law stipulates that executive authorities are not permitted to detain persons for more than 24 hours without questioning. In addition, the State Security headquarters is not the official place recognized for detention. The Brotherhood notes that these places are notorious for their reputation. Reports have been substantiated that inside these locations, abuse and torture are commonplace.

The continued detention of the young bloggers in these infamous places illustrates the disregard of the law"s supremacy, moreover, tarnishing Egypt’s image abroad. Many international organizations condemned the gross violations and use of torture against Egyptians at the State Security"s headquarters. The Committee to Protect Journalists also denounced the shameful detention of Saad and al-Ayash and called on Egyptian authorities yesterday for an explanation on why they have detained the three bloggers this week without charge.
Saad and Ayyash are renowned young Muslim Brotherhood bloggers in Egypt where their reformist views are widely praised inside the moderate Muslim Brotherhood in particular and in the Islamic movement in general as well as among secular activists. Their writings often shed light on the principles of democracy, citizenship, political pluralism and the right for political participation of minorities.

Their arrests coincide with the ongoing crackdowns against Muslim Brotherhood reformists. In late June, leading MB figure Dr. Abdel Moneim Aboul Futouh, a member of the Executive Bureau, was detained and remains in police custody without charge. These arrests, the MB believes, are aimed at sending a message of intimidation to the country"s opposition, which highlights the intricate role over the group"s growing impact upon Egypt’s political life.
Another blogger, Ahmad Abu Khalil, who blogs at Bayarek (The Lanterns) and identifies himself as an Islamist, was arrested when security forces raided his home Wednesday early morning. His current place of detention is not yet known, although some have surmised he is being held in State Security"s headquarters in Nasr City.

These irrational and illegal actions require Egypt"s Attorney General to act quickly to investigate the detention of the three bloggers. It is suspected that Magdi Saad has been subjected to torture in the State Security headquarters in Lazoghly, considering he had been severely tortured in 2000 by one of the State Security officers. The Attorney General must act promptly in order to protect the lives of these young people and conserve the Constitution and law.
We calls for all people to unite in solidarity with the three bloggers, and beseeches all bloggers, and activists, interested in human rights to issue a call for solidarity and address the Egyptian authorities and the Attorney General in demanding their release.