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Cairo 30th November 2008

The Arabic Network for Human Rights said today that security forces are once again utilizing military camps for holding political opponents and activists. These military camps do not come under the jurisdiction of either the prosecutor general, nor of any other civil department, and were widely used to hold Islamic extremists in the nineties, where torture was practiced free from judicial scrutiny. Now blogger Mohamed Khairi who runs the blog http://garshkal.blogspot.com and who had been released on the 4th November and re-arrested on 16th of the same month is being held in one of these infamous camps.

Blogger Mohamed Khairi was arrested on 22nd October, and then the prosecutor general ordered his release on 4th November. Before his release, state security forces ordered him to close his blog and stop writing, but he refused to stop and this time state security arrested him on 16th November twelve days after his initial release. Once again the prosecutor ordered his release, but state security forces took him to military camps, which are considered unlawful detention centers, and well known as places where Islamic extremists were detained and tortured without any judicial or legal scrutiny.

Four days ago the Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression at the Arabic Network and Khairi’s father filed two lawsuits, but to their surprise state security took Khairi to military camps, where the prosecutor has no authority.

It is known that those who are held in these camps are considered to have been forcibly disappeared for they are held without formal order from the prosecutor and not allowed visits, because the detention is illegal and in an illegal place.

Gamal Eid, executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said in a statement:

“The return to using these infamous places is dangerous, and the most dangerous thing about this case is that the person who is being held here is a blogger who has never been involved or even suspected of being involved in acts of violence. His only crime is writing a blog to demand the lifting of the blockade on the Gaza strip, a crime committed by all Egyptians since all of them demand the lifting of this blockade by the Israeli occupying forces, with the backing of the Egyptian government.

Further information is available on:
http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2008/pr1028.shtml
http://www.anhri.net/en/reports/2008/pr1023.shtml

Sources:
http://anhri.net/en/reports/2008/pr1130.shtml