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The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights

Fears for the safety of EOHR Secretary General

3 December 1998

The Egyptian Organization (EOHR) is following with deep concern and
apprehension the condition of its secretary general, Hafez Abu-Seada.
Although more than seventy hours have passed since charges were brought
against him and he was placed in preventive detention, the EOHR has not
received any clear information about him and whether the health and safety
conditions stated by the law are being observed or not.

The EOHR concerns are accentuated after receiving news that Hafez Abu Seada
may be held in Al-Ihtyat Prison, which is known to be one of the worst
prisons in Egypt where prisoners face inhuman treatment and are exposed to
physical injury.

The EOHR has made sincere efforts to obtain a visit permit that would
disperse its fears and apprehension, but all efforts have been in vain. In
addition, although his wife expected to obtain a visit permit from the
Public Prosecution, she was unable to do so under various excuses.

In the light of the above, the doubts of the EOHR about the safety of 
Hafez Abu Seada have aggravated. This situation ressembles the well-known
case of Abdel Harith Madani. The EOHR asserts that its secretary general
was arrested in full physical and psychological health. Therefore, it lays
all responsibility for any injury or harm caused to his physical safety on
the competent authorities, particularly the security forces. The EOHR calls
for the application of the legal provisions concerning preventive
detention, the first of which is to allow visits by the family and the
defense lawyers to remove any suspicions that information about his
condition is being withheld.

The EOHR urges all democratic forces and civil society institutions to
intensify their  efforts for the prompt release of the EOHR secretary

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