Third Member of Human Rights Group in Egypt Arrested

Egyptian security forces arrested the executive director of a human rights organization last Nov. 19, the third member to be taken into custody in just four days despite criticism from the international community.

Egyptian security forces arrested the executive director of a human rights organization last Nov. 19, the third member to be taken into custody in just four days despite criticism from the international community.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said in a statement, “Security forces arrested Gasser Abdel Razek, Executive Director of EIPR, from his home in Maadi and took him to an undisclosed location.”

According to EIPR, the State Security Prosecutor has placed Razek in a pre-trial detention for 15 days and charged him with “joining a terrorist group, disseminating false statements to undermine public security, and using the Internet to publish false news.”

“EIPR perceives the arrest of its Executive Director Gasser Abdel Razek as an attempt to put an end to organized and legitimate human rights work in Egypt,” EIPR stated.

Razek’s arrest came just a day after security forces arrested EIPR’s Criminal Justice Unit Director Karim Ennarah while he was on vacation in Dahab, South Sinai.

Last Nov. 15, security forces arrested EIPR’s Office Manager Muhammad Bashir with the same charges and also placed him in detention for 15 days.

The international community has expressed criticism towards the arrests, saying that they are “deeply concerned.”

The Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights of the United Nations released a statement describing the arrests as “a very worrying development that underscores the extreme vulnerability of civil society activists in the country.”

Under the Egyptian law, pre-trial detention can extend up to 15 days, but it is often further extended.


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