Daughter of detained MB prisoner speaks out

Daughter of detained MB prisoner speaks out

The daughter of Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, one of the detainees in the “international network of the Muslim Brotherhood” has spoke with Bikya Masr, detailing her father’s continued imprisonment in Egypt. Salma Ashraf, who has worked with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) and who is currently residing in England, believes that her father’s continued jailing has left many questions that must be answered by the Egyptian government.

Her father, Ghaffar, is the special Rapporteur fo the Human Relief Agency at Egypt’s Doctors Syndicate and the Vice-Secretary-General of the syndicate as a whole.

Ghaffar has been charged as being a leader of what his daughter calls the “imaginary network.”

According to the daughter, Ghaffar lived abroad for 15 years and only recently returned to Egypt where he was detained on charges of aiding the people of Gaza “through the Doctors Syndicate and money laundering and many other fabricated charges.”

Ashraf revealed that her father had been on his way to Turkey in order to attend his son’s wedding.

“He went voluntarily to the state security office in the airport to search his bags. They stamped the bags ok and sent it to the plane, but they decided at the last minute to keep him,” she retells of his arrest last July. “He stayed for two days in the airport until they decided to involve him in this case.”

Ghaffar is due at an Egyptian court on Tuesday, where he is expected to be handed his 9th detention renewal and remain in jail.

Ashraf says she was present when her father was carted away by police, waving at her in an emotional farewell. The daughter does not if, or when, she will see her father again.

“They don’t ask him anything or accuse him of anything and his lawyers ask the investigator to name charges so they can make their defense, but they say nothing. Instead, the investigator asks questions and answers it himself,” the daughter said.

(see also “Egypt: Government crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood not working”)

The Egyptian government is charging Ghaffar, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and others of illegally taking funds from foreign sources in order to buttress the Muslim Brotherhood. Ashraf says that her father and Aboul Fotouh – a top figure in the Islamic group and a leading reformer – were attempting to help people in Palestine and had no intentions of using money against the Egyptian regime.

Aboul Fotouh and Ghaffar have been detained now for months and a number of human rights groups have lashed out at the government for the treatment of political detainees in the country. Prison conditions, they say, are horrendous and are not suitable for maintaining the health of these men.

Ashraf believes that the Egyptian government is attempting to “hide” the situation in order to appeal to Western governments and media over their support for human rights.

“Egypt would respond and try to hide or lessen its human rights violations if the western media put it under the spot,” Ashraf says.

A few prisoners in this case have been released in recent weeks due to pressure from human rights organizations, “however, we need more pressure through the media to stop this kind of violation in Egypt and to release all prisoners of conscious and all political detainees,” Ashraf says.

(see also “AOHR: Human rights situation in Egypt worsens”)

The Arab Organization for Human Rights revealed in a report published last week that thousands of political prisoners remain detained in Egypt without charge.