- Title: U.N. rights office urges Egypt to free blogger, lawyer, activist
- Date: 18th October 2019
- Summary: GENEVA, SWITZERLAND (OCTOBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNITED NATIONS OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS (OHCHR) SPOKESWOMAN, RAVINA SHAMDASANI, SAYING: "Mr. Abdel Fattah and Mr. El-Baqer, the second, the second and third case that I spoke about, have both been accused of the following charges: belonging to a terrorist group, funding a terrorist group, spreading false news, undermining national security, and using social media to commit publishing offences. On the 9th of October, the detention of both men, who are being held at Tora Maximum Security Prison, was renewed for an additional 15 days. And these are by no means the only such cases - they are simply three of the most prominent ones." NEWS BRIEFING IN PROGRESS UNITED NATIONS BUILDING
- Embargoed: 1st November 2019 13:32
- Keywords: U.N. rights office Esraa Abdelfattah Egypt street protests alleged mistreatment in police custody Abdel Fattah al-Sisi activist journalist Cairo
- Location: CAIRO, EGYPT / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- City: CAIRO, EGYPT / GENEVA, SWITZERLAND
- Country: Switzerland
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA003B1ML2YV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The U.N. human rights office called on Egypt on Friday (October 18) to free a prominent blogger, lawyer and journalist allegedly mistreated in custody who are among nearly 2,000 people detained since street protests began a month ago.
Officials at the interior ministry were not immediately available for comment. The state prosecutor's office said in late September that it had questioned a number not exceeding 1,000 suspects who took part in the demonstrations.
Protests against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo and other cities have followed online calls for demonstrations against alleged government corruption.
Sisi, who came to power after, while army chief, leading the 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, has overseen a broad crackdown on dissent that has extended to liberal and Islamist groups, and which rights groups say is the most severe in recent memory.
Journalist and activist Esraa Abdelfattah was arrested by plainclothes security officers in Cairo on Oct. 12 and was reportedly beaten after she refused to unlock her mobile phone, Shamdasani said. Abdelfattah is on a hunger strike, U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a news briefing in Geneva.
Alaa Abdel Fattah, a blogger and software engineer, was released in March after serving a five-year sentence for protesting without permission, but was re-arrested on Sept 29, Shamdasani said. The same day, his lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer, was arrested while attending the interrogation, she added.
Abdel Fattah was struck by guards on his back and neck while being forced to walk down a corridor in his underwear, while al-Baqer has been subjected to physical and verbal abuse, and denied water and medical aid, Shamdasani said.
(Production: Cecile Mantovani)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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