Released @ 12:00 hours GMT, 5th December, 1998
PCHR EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER ARREST OF HAFEZ ABU SAADA
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) expresses its deep concern over the arrest earlier this month of Hafez Abu Saada, Secretary General of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. PCHR calls upon the government of Egypt to release him immediately.
Mr. Abu Saada was arrested on the basis of a report published by his organization unveiling illegal procedures and crimes of torture perpetrated by Egyptian security forces during investigations carried out in Al-Kasheh village in Upper Egypt. Consequently, the Egyptian media close to the government have launched a campaign of propaganda against the Egyptian organization. For example, they have alleged that a grant received by the organization from the Human Rights Committee in the House of Lords was given in exchange for the publication of the report. The Egyptian organization, its Board, and its Secretary General strongly rejected these claims and asserted that the grant had no relation to the report. Rather, it was given to the organization to finance a legal aid program for women and the handicapped launched by the organization in 1995.
Hafez Abu Saada is one of the most prominent human rights activists in the region. PCHR believes that the measures taken by the Egyptian government against him constitute a violation of his right to express his opinion and constitute a threat to the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, which is considered one of the region’s leading human rights organizations. PCHR calls on the government of Egypt to release him immediately. PCHR expresses its complete solidarity with the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights against this unfounded attack.
PCHR also calls upon the Board of the organization to cancel its recent decision to freeze the activities of the organization – a decision taken as a result of this crisis.
For More Information Contact:
Palestinian Center for Human Rights
Tel/Fax: (+) 972 7 2824776/2825893
Release Hafez Abu-Se'da