EOHR demands immediate release

EOHR demands immediate release
of detained Islamic Brotherhood members

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) condemns the mass arrests of members of the Islamic Brotherhood organisation carried out by Egyptian state security forces and demands their immediate release.
In addition it calls for an end to the State of Emergency in force since 1981.

Egyptian authorities arrested 50 Brotherhood leaders and activists on Sunday (16/5) at dawn.
The arrests were made across Egypt, including Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Gharbiya, Monoufiyya, Daqhilayya and Kafr el-Sheikh.
They were brought before the Prosecutor General and charged with membership of an illegally founded organisation, possession of publications and preparing to travel to Iraq with the intention of fighting in the war.

The authorities in addition shut down the Brotherhood website and seized 20 computers.
Premises and shops belonging to Brotherhood members were also searched during the course of the operation, including the al-Meda’een publishing house in Alexandria owned by Gamal Madi, and the headquarters of the Egyptian Scientific Services Company presided over by Gamal Nasar.
State security police officers seized all the company’s papers and computer equipment as well as some of its financial revenue.

This arrest operation contravenes the right to freedom and personal security guaranteed by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ratified by Egypt) whose Article 9 states:
Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person. No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedures as are established by law.

The same right is guaranteed by Article 41 of the Egyptian Constitution.
These arrests cast doubt on the sincerity of the Egyptian Government’s claims that it is engaging in political reform, especially since the arrests were made immediately after the Brotherhood’s announcement that it is launching its own reform initiative – which was severely criticised by the Government.

EOHR demands:

1) The immediate release of the Brotherhood detainees and all political prisoners.

2) That the State of Emergency – which is used to restrict the right to freedom, personal security and other rights guaranteed by the Egyptian Constitution and international human rights instruments – be abolished. In 2003 EOHR launched its campaign “together for the abolition of the State of Emergency.”

3) That the Egyptian authorities honour their pledge to undertake political and constitutional reform and that they abide by the commitments imposed upon them by international human rights instruments.

4) That the various political currents which exist in Egypt be incorporated into the fabric of Egyptian society and be allowed to actively participate in Egyptian political life.
All political currents must have the freedom to form political parties regardless of their ideological character and be guaranteed the liberty to play an active role on the Egyptian political stage.