Brotherhood students vanish without a trace
|Wednesday, August 8,2007 00:00|
|By Blair-Mann and Khadiga Samir|
Six Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated men were arrested without charge by state security on July 18th and three have completely disappeared, according to Brotherhood MP Hamdy Hassan.
Nobody has been able to get information on their whereabouts since their arrest despite persistent attempts by their families, their lawyer, and Hassan.
Khalaf Ahmed, the Muslim Brotherhood lawyer in Alexandria following the case, told Daily News Egypt that four students were arrested while on summer vacation in Agami. The other two were arrested after the arrest, one during a house search, and the last in Sidi El Bishr leaving his computer course.
Students Mohammed Emam, Mustafa Emam, and Mohammed Farid, have not been seen or heard from since their arrest. The Emam"s are brothers. None have yet been charged with any crime.
Hassan told Daily News Egypt that he had presented a memo to the speaker of parliament, Fathy Surour, about the issue and also filed a request to the Ministry of Interior for information on the students, but the government has not issued any response.
He added that "there are rumors that one of the students, Mohamed Ali Farid, was tortured to death at the hands of Egyptian police."
A spokesperson at the Ministry of Interior told Daily News Egypt that the ministry does not comment on Muslim Brotherhood-related issues, except through official press releases.
The Ministry had issued no statement at time of press.
But lawyer Khalaf Ahmed said that he was certain that "they are being subjected to torture."
He said he too had heard rumors that one of the students was killed, but, he added, while he couldn"t confirm the rumor, "it is quite possible that something like this happened."
"For people to disappear for so long with no charges is simply not normal," he said.
He claims that had spoken to the general prosecutor personally and sent a formal complaint but that "nothing happened."
Ahmed Mohamed Emam, father of Mohamed and Mustafa Emam, spoke to Daily News Egypt about what happened.
"I have two sons Mohamed and Mustafa, one of them was arrested while on vacation with some friends in Agami, and the other was arrested after he finished his
"After that we didn"t hear anything about them. Some officers came to our house at 2 am and they searched it and took my son"s CDs, computers, and religious books.
"When I asked them who they were and what my sons are arrested for, one of them told me that they are from state security. He said: ‘it"s better you don"t know about the accusations against your sons.’"
He said that he had appealed to the vice president of Alexandria University for help.
Ali Farid, father of Mohamed Farid, told the Daily News Egypt: "My son was arrested by the state security after he finished his computer course, and when I asked them about my son"s whereabouts they denied they had him. At 1:30 am officers searched our house and they took my son"s computer and some papers with verses from the Quran."
"We"ve heard that one of the students was tortured to death and that state security is hiding him. It"s been 16 days and I haven"t seen or spoken to my son."
Farid added that he sent a complaint to the general prosecutor as well as three appeals to President Mubarak , but has received no response.
The other three detainees, students Rafi Mohammed Shoher and Mostafa Ahmed Imam, and employee at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Hamed El Sayed, were moved to Borg El Arab on July 25, where they have been detained since then. No charges have yet been filed against them.