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Government orders another human rights activist arrested
The State Security Prosecutor ordered police to arrest human rights activist Mustafa Zidane. Zidane is the second human rights worker ordered arrested in Egypt this week.
The Government appears determined to expand its campaign of fear against human rights workers. We have no way to know how many human rights activists will eventually be imprisoned.
Zidane, a lawyer and member of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights' field work unit, conducted a fact-finding mission into the torture of citizens in Sohag. The Government previously jailed EOHR head Hafez Abu-Se'da, who was freed on bail last night at about 11 p.m. The current investigation is in part a punishment against the human rights movement for repeatedly revealing police misconduct.
This widening sweep of arrests and detentions, coupled with imminent new laws repressing the ability of rights organizations to work freely, shows an unprecedented Government effort to restrain and restrict Egyptians from trying to improve human rights in their own country.
We are extremely alarmed at this growing punishment against human rights workers in Egypt. Three days before the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Egypt must cease this investigation and respect all citizens' rights to free expression.
The harassment of human rights activists in Egypt must stop now.
For further information contact:
The Center for Human Rights Legal Aid, Tel: 202-338-2908/202-338-8231;
The Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession, Tel: 2-012-311-2420.
For Hafez Abu-Se'da's biography, protests from other human rights organizations, and daily updates, visit the website located at http://www.chrla.org/hafez.
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