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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

EOHR issues Report on Arrest Campaign against Muslim Brothers

Cairo, 12 January 1999

Today, 12 January 1999, the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR)
issues its first report of the year. Entitled "Many cases but the same old
charge", it is published as part of EOHR's work in defense of the rights to
freedom of opinion and expression and to peaceful assembly. The report
deals with the arrest campaigns carried out by the authorities against
members of the banned Muslim Brothers Group, which due to their frequency
have become a traditional practice and a common source of violations.

The EOHR followed with deep concern the arrest of scores of members of the
Muslim Brothers in many governorates of Lower Egypt during the second half
of 1998. Following their arrest, they were referred to the Higher State
Security Prosecution for investigations. They were questioned in connection
with several law suits and placed in preventive detention on one charge,
i.e. joining an illegal group that was established in contravention with
the law. However, the state still continues its policy of impeding the
legal recognition of this group, as well as of other political forces such
as the communists, even though these forces occupy a space in civil society
in Egypt and participate in many of its activities besides the legitimate
political forces. It must be noted that all attempts by these forces to
exist within the legal channels by establishing legal political parties
were thwarted by the state's rejection and the restrictions imposed on the
right to set up political parties in Egypt.

The report is divided into two parts. The first reviews a number of aspects
associated with the arrest and interrogation of members of the Muslim
Brothers, while the second focuses on the arrest campaigns that took place
in various Egyptian governorates and provides a list of names of those
arrested and the violations that accompanied their arrest and
interrogation. The report concludes with a number of recommendations for
the defense of the rights to peaceful assembly, and to set up associations
and political parties. It also calls for a stop to all forms of
ill-treatment and torture in State Security Investigations offices and
other places of detention.

The EOHR issues this report in the hope that it will help spur Egyptian
civil society  institutions and political parties, intellectuals, etc, to
work together for the defense of freedom of opinion and expression, the
right to peaceful assembly, and the right of all citizens, regardless of
their political or ideological belonging, to personal safety. It also hopes
the report will urge the Egyptian government to take prompt and serious
steps to stop these violations which threaten the situation of human rights
in Egypt.

The report is available at http://www.derechos.org/human-rights/mena/eohr/brothers.html

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Derechos HR
This document is published online by Derechos Human Rights. Derechos works against violations to human rights and humanitarian law all over the world.