Egypt: Human Rights Activists Taken into Custody

The Guardian’s Jack Shenker has sent forward a list of human rights activists and pro-democracy leaders taken into custody by the Mubarak regime during the last week. The list, which is not considered to be complete, as it is difficult to get information on who has been arrested, and under what circumstances, includes the affiliation of those detained and reads as follows:

Hisham Mubarak Legal Centre and the Centre for Economic and Social Rights
Ahmad Seif el-Islam abd el-Fattah
Ahmad Taher
El-Sayyed el-Fekki
Fatma Abed
Kamal Samir
Mona el-Masri
Muhamma Hamdi Mahmoud
Muhsin Bashir
Mustafa el-Hasan
Nadine Abu-Shadi
Tamer Hagina

Amnesty International
Mona el-Kakhi
Saeed Haddadi

Human Rights Watch
Daniel Willams

Youth Activists
Ahmad Douma
Amre Ezz
Amre Salah
Michael Nabil
Mustafa Shawqi
Naser And el-Hamid
Shadi el-Ghazali Harb
Wael Ghoneim
Yaser Hawwari

Anyone with information regarding the detention or abuse of human rights workers and pro-democracy activists should please send along that information, to this address.

These are the witnesses who have committed themselves to looking out for the wellbeing and human dignity of others, who have sought to ensure that crimes against humanity and petty indecencies are not committed against the people of Egypt. Their detention is an outrage that shows a total lack of seriousness on the part of the government to undertake reforms that would allow the Egyptian people to at last live free of the fear of tyrants and warlords.

UPDATE, 10:56 pm EST: Amnesty International welcomed news that human rights activists have been freed, but called for an independent criminal investigation into the detentions:

Amnesty International has called for an investigation into the detention of some 35 human rights activists and journalists, including two Amnesty International staff members, who were freed after spending almost two days in military custody.

The Egyptian and international human rights activists, lawyers and journalists were arrested Thursday when military police raided the offices of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center.

Peter Bouckaert, emergencies director for Human Rights Watch, issued this statement today:

Great news this morning, all our Egyptian colleagues detained on February 3 have been released. Late last night the military released Dan Williams of Human Rights Watch, two researchers from Amnesty International and two journalists, one French, the other Portuguese. This morning they freed the Egyptian lawyers and activists who were also picked up in the raid on the Hisham Mubarak Law Center.

Ahmed Seif al-Islam, former director of the center, was the last to leave the military camp where they were all held because he was insisting on the return of all the equipment and documents the military took from the center.

We are so relieved to have our colleagues back safely. Now we can get back to our work of monitoring and reporting on the human rights situation here.

The Guardian newspaper is reporting:

Two of al-Jazeera’s journalists in Cairo have been released a day after they were detained by the Egyptian authorities.

The release of Cairo bureau chief, Abdelfattah Fayed, and another journalist, Mohammed Fawi, comes a day after the news channel said its offices in the Egyptian capital had been burned and destroyed by “gangs of thugs”, Reuters reports.

The ransacking, destruction and burning of the news network’s offices, appears to have been part of a concerted effort by forces loyal to or directed by Hosni Mubarak to undermine the public’s access to truthful information about what is going on in Tahrir Square and what kind of crackdown is being pursued to protect the regime.