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Journalist's residence in Alexandria raided in attempt to arrest him

(HRinfo/IFEX) - HRinfo fears for the life of the journalist blogger Abdel Men'em Mahmoud, whose residence in Alexandria was broken into at dawn on 13 April 2007 by security forces seeking to arrest him. The incident appears to be part of a campaign carried out by the police in Cairo and Alexandria to arrest 42 Egyptians suspected of belonging to the Muslim Brothers Group.

Mahmoud, a reporter for Al-Hiwar television station and the administrator of the popular blog Ana Ikhwan ( http://ana-ikhwan.blogspot.com ), was not home when the security forces broke in. Given that he was tortured for 13 days when arrested on a previous occasion, he avoided capture and has gone into hiding. He believes that the authorities are trying to arrest him for his coverage of police treatment of Muslim Brothers activists.

The 27-year-old blogger had also recently expressed to a friend his concerns about being subjected to torture similar to that he suffered in a 2003 incident (see: http://ana-ikhwan.blogspot.com/2007/01/25.html ), and his fear that the police would terrorise his aged parents in order to force him to surrender. He subsequently received news about the 13 April raid.

HRinfo has previously condemned the "dawn visitors" practice, involving raids by security forces on political opposition members. HRinfo calls upon the Minister of the Interior and the General-Prosecutor to explain the motives for this new incident, since the blogger is neither a student nor a member of a Muslim Brothers' student group involved in a sports show which the Interior Ministry claims is "military training". His activities are concentrated on media and writing on his blog.

Moreover, HRinfo calls upon all civil society organizations and independent media to join forces to stop the unjust campaign against activists, students and academics who have committed no wrong, and simply have ideas that differ from those of the government, which everyone has a right to do.

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