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Second human rights activist will be interrogated tomorrow
Lawyers for human rights activist Mustafa Zidane informed the State Security Prosecutor today that he will voluntarily appear before the Prosecutor tomorrow, Dec. 9, at noon. According to reports in the Egyptian press, the Prosecutor has ordered Zidane’s arrest for interrogation, but police did not locate him and his lawyers and family did not receive any formal summons.
Zidane and his lawyers decided he should appear for interrogation tomorrow voluntarily.
Zidane will be the second human rights activist interrogated in Egypt this week. The Prosecutor may choose to imprison him after the interrogation. Egyptian Organization for Human Rights head Hafez Abu-Se’da was jailed a week ago after a similar interrogation.
This investigation is a punishment against the human rights movement for repeatedly revealing police misconduct. Zidane, a lawyer and member of the EOHR’s field work unit, conducted a fact-finding mission into the torture of citizens in Sohag.
The Prosecutor is conducting an unprecedented campaign of fear to intimidate Egyptians from trying to improve human rights in their own country. As this investigation grows, we grow increasingly concerned that a large number of human rights activists will eventually be arrested or imprisoned.
The interrogation of Zidane will take place one day before the 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Prosecutor should terminate this investigation immediately to defend Egypt’s reputation around the world as a country that respects the basic liberties of its citizens.
We condemn any effort to punish Mustafa Zidane or anyone else for honestly reporting human rights abuses.
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,
For daily updates and protests from other human rights organizations visit the website located at http://www.chrla.org/hafez.
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