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Political blogger, popular novelist jailed; 12 human rights organisations call for his release

(HRinfo/IFEX) - The following is an abbreviated version of a joint statement by HRinfo and several other Egyptian human rights organisations:

Human rights organisations consider Abo Fagr a prisoner of conscience

Egyptian human rights organisations denounced today the continued imprisonment of political blogger and activist Mosaad Abo Fagr, the head of the movement "We want to live" or "wedna naeesh". His imprisonment has been extended for an extra 15 days. He has already been detained for more than 40 days on several charges filed against him in retaliation for his support of Sinai Bedouins.

On 26 December 2007, Abo Fagr was arrested and accused of the same crimes of which security bodies customarily accuse those calling for democracy: inciting the public to riot and damaging public properties. Meanwhile, his jailing was repeatedly extended by the public prosecutor.

The El-Areish prosecutor's office also warned that other charges may be brought against him.

This comes at a moment when the Cairo International Book Fair witnessed the exhaustion of the entire stock of his novel, "Talaat El-Badn" (the Countenance of the Body), in which he discussed severe human rights violations suffered by the Sinai Bedouins at the hands of security bodies, which the Egyptian government is constantly trying to conceal.

The undersigned human rights organisations consider Mosaad Abo Fagr a prisoner of conscience, and therefore again call upon the Egyptian authorities to set him free and respect the constitution, law and international charters that Egypt has ratified with regard to protection of freedom of expression, the right to peaceful gathering and the right to a fair trial for Abo Fagr.

Hisham Mubarak Law Centre
Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo)
Egyptian Movement for Change (Kefaya)
The Legal Assistance of Human Rights Group
Awlad Al-Ard Institution for Human Rights
Habi Centre for Environmental Rights
The Egyptian Observatory for Justice and Law
Arab Foundation for Civil Society Support and Human Rights
The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
Maat Center for Judicial and Constitutional Studies
Al-Shehab Institute for Development
Freedom Center for Political Rights and Democracy Support

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