Egypt : WGAD informed of successive waves of arbitrary arrests and detentions of Muslim Brotherhood members
In the past 3 months, the Egyptian government has carried out successive mass arrests of leading members of the countries largest opposition group, the Muslim Brotherhood, including Dr Ashraff Abdel Ghaffar and Dr Ahmed Heshmat. Alkarama has been following these cases and, on 27 October 2009, submitted 112 cases of arbitrary arrest and detention of the Muslim Brotherhoods leaders and followers to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD).
On 14 October 2009, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism released an Advanced Edited Version of his report of the Mission to Egypt he undertook in April 2009. In it he discusses the powers given to the President of the Republic in the Emergency Law of 1958 to “restrict a number of rights pertaining to freedom of assembly and expression” and how the excessive use of this law affects many groups which pose no threat to the security of the state or public order. In this report he states that:
The Special Rapporteur is troubled by the frequency and range of practices allowed for and facilitated by the wide powers established by the Emergency Law.
The 112 cases presented to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention confirm observations made by the Special Rapporteur are indeed correct and require urgent and serious attention.
2010 Parliamentary Elections
In November 2010, parliamentary elections are scheduled to be held in Egypt, and many local human rights groups fear that the current trend of arbitrary arrests and detentions are motivated in particular by a desire to silence or at least disrupt the plans by the leaders of the Muslim brotherhood, the countries largest opposition movement, to submit their candidacies for these elections and run successful election campaigns.
In the run up to the 2008 municipal elections, Egypt’s security forces conducted mass arrests on a similar scale to those occurring today, targeting mainly Muslim Brotherhood members who had submitted their candidacies as independents. In total 831 leading members or sympathizers of the movement were arrested from around the country. A pattern was growing which it seems is been repeated today: the government harasses; arrests and detains potential opposition candidates in order to dissuade and/or make it more difficult for them to run in the elections.
112 cases submitted to WGAD
Among the 112 names in this list are doctors, teachers, retired employees of Government Ministries, Director Generals of large commodity companies, engineers, religious figures, former candidates for the previous parliamentary elections and people holding many other positions. The main similarity between these people is that they all hold positions of considerable influence and many are highly respected members of their society. This puts many of them in a good position for being successfully elected to the parliament.
The majority of those arrested are between the age of 40 and 55, they hold high profile positions in the companies and institutions in which they work, many work in charity or other forms of associations and all are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, many of them leaders within the movement. According to our information, of the 112 cases presented below, all remained detained except three.
They include prominent figures such as Dr Ashraff Abdel Ghaffar and Dr Gamal Ahmed Heshmat both leading figures in the Egyptian Medical Association and renowned doctors in Egypt.
Dr. Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar is the Vice-Secretary General of the Egyptian Medical Association and is a Rapporteur for the Cairo based Human Relief Agency. He is a highly respected elected leader of one of Egypt’s largest unions. Dr Abdelghaffar was arrested on 2 July at Cairo airport as he prepared to fly to Turkey for his sons wedding. Dr Abeldghaffar was arrested alongside 22 others accused of membership of the “International Organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood”.
He was made to sit on a chair with no sleep, food or drink during the 48 hours he was detained there. They also forbade him from taking the medicine which he requires to treat his Hepatitis C or the daily injection in his leg he requires, without which the pain in his leg is such that he is unable to walk. During these first two days of detention, he was also prevented from having any contact with the outside world.
Dr. Gamal Ahmed Heshmat 54 years old is a renowned doctor in Egypt and is an important member of the Egyptian Medical Association. He was elected to Parliament in 2000 and became a vocal and active member, drawing up laws and regulations in particular against corruption. In 2003 he was arrested for belonging to an illegal group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and imprisoned for 4 months.
He was again arrested for the same reasons on 26 of September 2009, along with another 11 members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Violation of right to freedom of expression
The 112 detainees described above are detained because they are either leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, or because they are active within the movement. Alkarama believes that their arrest is a violation of the right to hold opinions; the right to the freedom of thought, belief and assembly, and the right to take part in the conduct of public affairs as guaranteed by articles 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 18, 19, 21, 22 and 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
In its submission to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Alkarama asked for the working group to recognise the arbitrary nature of the detention of these 112 cases as it have done for similar cases in the past (Opinion
Alkarama urges the Egyptian Government to comply with its obligations under the ICCPR and immediately put an end to the waves of arbitrary arrests and detentions aimed at the only viable opposition movement in Egypt and release those already detained due to their exercising of their right to the freedom of expression.
The following are lists of names arrested on particular days. Each wave of arrests has a communiqués with details
2-4 July 2009: arrest of Dr Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar and 21 others
Dr Ashraf Abdelghaffar was arrested at Cairo airport as he prepared to fly to Turkey for his sons wedding. Dr Abeldghaffar was arrested as part of a large group accused of membership of the “International Organisation of the Muslim Brotherhood”.
1. Dr Ashraf Abdel Ghaffar, aged 53, is the Vice Secretary General of the Egyptian Medical Association and is a Rapporteur for the Cairo-based Human Relief Agency.
2. Ali Ali Al Hadidi
3. Gamal Abdel Salam
4. Dr. Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, Secretary General of the Egyptian Medical Association.
5. Ahmad Ali Abbas
6. Khaled Al Said Baltagi
7. Redha Fahmi
8. Hazem Al Jundi
9. Abdulrahman Algamal
10. Dr. Ossama Nasreddine
11. Dr. Hossam Aboubakr
12. Dr. Ibrahim Mustafa
13. Hisham Sak
14. Dr. Ashraf Abdelsami
15. Dr. Mohamed Said Alioua
16. Ali Abdel Fattah
17. Dr. Assim Al Hadad
18. Mohamed Al Azbaoui
19. Mahmoud Al Bara
20. Al Husseini Mahmoud Al Shami
21. Hassan Shalan
22. Walid Shalabi
23. Adil Abdalrahim Afif
17 August 2009: arrest of 33 individuals from Suez
The following 33 individuals are all residents of the Faysal and Ataqa Neighborhoods in the governorate of Suez. They are all members of the Muslim Brotherhood and were arrested on the 17 August 2009 by State Security forces supported by members of the Special Forces from the home of Yasser Ibrahim. They were all detained in Al-Marg prison, where they were held since 17 August without trial. They were charged on 18 August 2009 with “being a danger to public security and social peace” and with “belonging to the Muslim brotherhood”, they have been held since for successive 15 day periods of preventative detention whilst their case is investigated. The group is now held at various different prisons.
All of these men are married and have children; they are aged between 39 and 51 years old and most hold management posts at their various places of employment. Their detention negatively affects both their families and the companies, institutes or schools within which they play important roles. The individuals arrested are:
24. Tarek Mohammad Issa, 41 years old, is an accountant at the financial directorate of Suez. He is detained at Bourj al Arab prison.
25. Osama Mohammed Issa, 43 years old, is a customs accountant in the directorate of Suez. He is detained at Al Marg Prison
26. Reda Ibrahim Desouqi is an accountant at the Red Sea Ports authorities. He is detained at Damanhour prison
27. Mustafa Mohamed Ahmed Mohammadein, 44 years old, is a School Director in the directorate of Suez. He is detained at Bourj al Arab.
28. Adel Mahmoud Amer, 40 years old, is a doctor at the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Alexandria. He is detained at Damanhour prison.
29. Islam Abd Al-Azim Ali is a school teacher in the Suez Directorate. He is detained at Damanhour prison.
30. Noah Suleiman Mohammed Draz is a chemist at the Arab Petrolium Pipelines Company. He is detained at al Marg prison.
31. Mesbah Abu Saty Tantawi Mohamed is a Director of the Administration at the Canal Electric Company. He is detained at Bourj al Arab.
32. Ahmed Mohamed Ibrahim Shabana, 40 years old, is an Engineer at the Egyptian National Steel Company. He is detained at Bourj al Arab.
33. Ayman Ibrahim Al-Desouki, 43 years old, is an Engineer at the Red Sea Port authority. He is detained at Al Marg Prison. On 26 October 2009, Ayman Al Desouki nearly died when his diabetes made his blood pressure soar. The prison authorities did not respond for 45 minutes, and when they did, failed to bring any doctor with them. It was indeed his fellow inmates, some of whom are trained doctors, who rescued him. His state of health is still very unstable.
34. Abdul Rahman Alsayed Abdul Rahman, 54 years old, is the head of manufacturing at the Egyptian-Iranian Textile company (Miratex). He is detained at Al Marg Prison.
35. Mohamed Ahmed Mostafa is Director of the Administration at the Higher Institute for Computer and Information Systems. He is detained at Damanhour Prison.
36. Medhat Alsayed Mohammed Ibrahim is an accountant at the Memphis Housing Association. He is detained at Wadi Natroun Prison.
37. Abdul-Rahman Al-Baz, 49 years old, is a Director of the Administration with the Suez Post. He is detained at Bourh al Arab.
38. Majdi Mustafa Kamal Al-Halafawi, 45 years old, is a doctor at the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Alexandria. He is detained at Damanhour Prison.
39. Mohamed Mahmoud Ibrahim, is a teacher with the Egyptian Ministry of Education. He is detained at Wadi al Natroun Prison.
40. Ahmed Mohammed Murad, 40 years old, is an engineer.
41. Yasser Mohammed Ibrahim, 37 years old, is a Chemist at the Red Sea Port authority. He is detained at Damanhour Prison.
42. Mahmoud Al-Sayyed Abul-Fotouh is the Director General of the Al-Nasr Company for Fertilizer Production. He is detained at Al Marg Prison.
43. Hani Shaban Ali, 34 years old, is a freelance contractor. He is detained at Al Marg prison.
44. Amr Mohammad Mujib is a Chemist at the Ataqa power plant in Suez. He is detained at Al Marg Prison.
45. Mahmoud Al-Sibai Mahmoud, 49 years old, is a scholar and Imam. He is a member of the Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee. He is detained at Wadi al Natroun Prison.
46. Rajab Mohammad Metwali is a chemist at the Ataqa power plant in Suez. He is detained at Al Marg Prison.
47. Imad Hamdi Abu Al-Naga is a doctor at the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Alexandria. He is detained at Al Marg Prison.
48. Hamdi Hussein Yussef Abu Taleb, 47 years old, is an engineer at the Al-Nasr Company for Fertiliser Production. He is detained at Wadi Al Natroun Prison.
49. Hassan Abdullah Hassan Wahib, 50 years old, is a Director of the Administration at the Al-Nasr Company for Fertiliser Production. He is detained at Bourj al Arab Prison.
50. Abd al-Hakim Mahmoud Mohamed, 50 years old, works at a pipeline company. He is detained at Damanhour Prison.
51. Mohamed Alsayed Mohamad Hamed Alsayed, 50 years old, is a teacher with the Ministry of Education. He is detained at Bourj al Arab Prison.
52. Mustafa Mohamed Ibrahim Almsalhy, 39 years old, is a researcher at the National Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries, Alexandria. He is detained at Wadi al Natroun Prison.
53. Ahmed Sha’rawi Abdullah Mohamed, is a Director at the Arab Contractors Suez Branch. He is detained at Damanhour Prison.
54. Osama Mustafa Mohamed Nimat Allah, 51 years old, is an engineer at the Arab Petrolium Pipelines Company. He is detained at Wadi al Natroun Prison.
55. Hisham Mahmoud Ahmad Mahdi, 46 years old, is an Engineer at the Trust for Weaving Industries. He is detained at Wadi al Natroun Prison.
56. Alaa Ahmed Mohamed Khalaf is an electrical engineer. He is detained at Bourj al Arab Prison.
11 September 2009: Arrest of 8 individuals in Monufia governorate
The following 8 individuals were arrested in pre-dawn raids by the State Security Intelligence (SSI) on their homes in the Monufia governorate on 11 September 2009.
The entire group was held for 15 days at the SSI building in Shebin al Kom, Monoufia governorate, which is not an official detention center, from the date of their arrest on 11 September until 26 September 2009. On this day, they were charged with “membership of the Muslim Brotherhood”. They were then transferred to Wadi Natroun 2 prison.
57. Abdelati Hawash Ali Al Nadiri, 52 years old, married and usually living in Shebin al Kom, Al Monufia governorate, is a freelance engineer.
58. Fathi Zaki Ahmed Al Soruri, 45 years old, married and usually living in Mitkhakan Village, Shebin Al Kom, Al Monufia governorate is Director of the Medical Association in Monufia.
59. Mohamed Anis Mohamed Al Sharif, 45 years old, married and living at the Al Sabu Lake Center, Al Monufia governorate, is an Agricultural Engineer.
60. Tariq Imam Mohamed Al Sharif, 45 years old, married and usually living in Shebin Al Kom, Al Monufia governorate is an Accountant at the Egyptian National Bank, Monufia Branch.
61. Sobhi Ahmed Issawi Jaafar, 75 years old, married and usually living in Mitkhakan village, Shebin al Kom, Al Monufia governorate, is an employee at Shebin al Kom Cadastre.
62. Hamdi Mohamed Abdoh Mohamed Mujahed, 40 years old, married and usually residing in Mitkhakan village, Shebin al Kom, Al Monufia governorate, is a teacher.
63. Tamer Ahmed Mohamed Nassar, 27 years old, married and usually residing at the Quisna Center, al Monufia governorate, is an employee of the Railway company of Monufia.
64. Ali Sayed Rajb Rizq, 30 years old, is married and usually resides at the Quisna Center, al Monufia governorate.
26 September 2009: Arrest of 12 individuals including Dr. Gamal Heshmat
The following 12 people were arrested on 26 of September 2009 at the home of Dr Adli Abdelkawi Abu Shanaf, at the Haoush Issa Center, Republic Avenue, in al Bahira. They were arrested by forces from the State Security Intelligence supported by members of the Central Security and General Investigations forces. Many had their computers and a number of files, books and records confiscated by the security forces.
The group was held in the State Security building in Damanhour before being transferred from one prison to another. On 27 September 2009, the Supreme State Security Court prolonged their detention for 15 days.
According to the State Security Prosecution’s investigation, as state during this hearing before the Supreme State Security, the group are accused of being “involved in the banned Muslim Brotherhood”, “Promoting the ideas of the Brotherhood”, “possessing publications and promoting the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “receiving funds from inside Egypt to promote the ideas of the Muslim brotherhood”.
Apart from Dr Gamal Heshmat who is a respected and well known doctor and leader in the Arab Doctors Syndicate, among those detained are a candidate in the last parliamentary elections, the head of the administrative office of the Muslim Brotherhood of Al Bahira and the Secretary General of the Medical Association of Al Bahira. The group is now been held in Burj Al Arab prison.
65. Mohamed Gamal Ahmed Heshmat Abdelhamid, 54 years old, is married and has 4 children. He usually lives with his family at number 3, Religious Institute Avenue, Al Bahira governorate. He is a well renowned doctor in Egypt and is an important member of the Arab Doctors Syndicate.
66. Mohamed Mohsen Ibrahim Soweidan, aged 63, is married and has 5 children. He is a retired director at the Ministry of Education and is now the head of the administrative office of the Muslim Brotherhood of Al Bahira.
67. Hamdi Abdelhamid Saad Obeid, 53 years old, is married and has 4 children. His usual address is the Al Basoumi Home, Al Jalal Avenue, Al Bahira Governorate. Mr Obeid is a consultant cardiologist at the National Institute of Damanhour and is the Secretary General of the Medical Association of Al Bahira.
68. Hosni Omar Ali Omaar, 48 years old, is married and has 3 children. He usually lives at Al Ray homes, Abdessalam Al Shadili, Damanhur, Al Bahira governorate. He is a Civil Engineer with the Directorate of Irrigation of Al Bahira. Mr Hosni Omar was a candidate in the last parliamentary elections.
69. Mustafa Rizk Ismael Al Khouli, 53 years old, is married and has one daughter. He lives on Yahya Al Sawi Avenue, Damanhur, Al Bahira Governorate and works as an engineer.
70. Mohamed Mohamed Ahmed Abu al Saad, 49 years old, is married and has 3 children. He usually lives on Al Khalifa Avenue, Damanhour, Al Bahira governorate. He is the Executive Director of the Arab Contractors Company.
71. Adli Abdelkawi Abu Shanaf, 42 years old, is married and has 4 children. He lives on Republic Avenue Haoush Issa, Al Bahira Governorate and works as a pharmacist.
72. Mahdi Abdelhamid Karsham, 52 years old, is married and has 3 children. He lives on Salah Salem Avenue, Kafr al Dawar, Al Bahira Governorate. He is a doctor and Professor of Veterinary Medicine, at Alexandria University, Edfina Branch.
73. Adel Mohamed Yunes, 52 years old, is married and has 4 daughters. He lives at Al Harir homes, Kafr al Douar, Al Bahira governorates. He is General Manager of the stores/ industrial silk company – Kafr el Dawar.
74. Hamed Abdleadim Mohamed Badawi, 48 years old, is married and has 5 children. He lives in Saft al Inab village, Kom Hamada, Al Bahira Governorate and is Manager of the Financial and Administrative Department, Kom Hamada Educational Department.
75. Sobhi Mohamed Talabah Tahan, aged 62, is married and has 5 children. He is retired and lives on Al Hijazi Hospital Avenue, Kom Hamad, Al Bahira Governorate.
76. Mohamed Abdallah Al Sharaki, aged 53, is married and has 5 children. He lives in the Abu Homs Center, Al Dirawia village, Al Bahira Governorate where he is Director of Zahra Elementary School.
21 October 2009: Arrest of 36 individuals from Daqaliah governorate
The following 36 people were arrested on 21 October 2009 at night and were held in Mansoura police station. After being held for a day here, they were told that they were being arrested and accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood. They have been told they will be held 15 days pending investigation.
The names of those arrested on the night of 21 October 2009 are:
77. Mohamad Saada
78. Mohamad Abdelghani Abderraheem
79. Magdy Saqr
80. Ahmad al-Salkauwi
81. Adel Rashid
82. Awad Abdel Salam
83. Al-Said al-Lawi
84. Abdelateef al-Manahi
85. Al-Said al-Adawi
86. Wasfi al-Mahdi
87. Mohammad Othman al-Junaidi
88. Ali Syam
89. Ahmad Farouq
90. Mohamad al-Obeidi
91. Mustafa al-Deeb
92. Mohamad Youssef
93. Jihad Lutfi
94. Ibrahim al-Baz
95. Mamdouh Sabry
96. Said Talat
97. Saad Ahmad
98. Abdullah Abdelkader
99. Alaa Soueilem
100. Tariq Mohamad Othman
101. Mohamad Rashid
102. Mohamad Mukhtar Alioua
103. Ahmad Jawda Hasaneen
And those arrested on the morning of 22 October 2009 are:
104. Khaled al-Deeb
105. Esam Sharafeddine
106. Mohamad Youssef Sunbul
107. Ameer Mahmoud al-Aswar
108. Kamal Metwali
109. Hamad Humad Abdelhafiz
110. Adel Sunbul
111. Ahmad Jumaa
112. Rajab Hubala