Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Egyptian students held in pre-dawn raid

Egyptian State Security Investigations officials took university students Abul Futuh Tahsin Abul Futuh, 21, and Tahsin Tahsin Abul Futuh, 23, into custody after raiding their home in the Cairo suburb of Nasr City at around 4 a.m. this morning. According to family members, four SSI officers searched the house and confiscated papers and a computer before taking the two brothers, saying it was a “standard security procedure” and that the two would be back “in two hours.” The authorities have not returned them or provided information as to their whereabouts.

“These kinds of arrests have become typical for the SSI, which routinely subjects persons to torture and ill-treatment during questioning,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division. “Time after time, families are told that their father or son will be back in a few hours, and then hear nothing for weeks and sometimes months.”

Family members told Human Rights Watch that the two brothers have attended a Nasr City mosque whose imam was arrested several days ago, but that neither was involved in any political activities. They said that some nine other persons associated with the mosque have also been detained in the Nasr City area in recent days.


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