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Imprisoned blogger Dia Eddin Gad mistreated after refusing to join political party as condition for his release

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information vehemently condemns the administration of Katta Prison for taking retaliatory measures against Dia Eddin Gad, who has been there since he was detained on 6 February 2009. Gad has been locked in solitary confinement and deprived of sunlight. He was also deprived of medical care and was threatened with death. ANHRI fears that these retaliatory measures are due to his refusal, along with his family, to join the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP). An official with the party proposed that Gad be released once he joins the NDP.

A prominent member of the NDP in Tanta went to the Gad's family's house and asked his family to fill in a membership form and give him a photo of Gad. The official wanted him to get a membership card as a price for his release. Gad's mother refused to cooperate.

Gad's mother said the NDP member came to the house in a luxury car and was wearing expensive clothes. "He asked me to give him a photo of Gad and to fill in a membership form for my son to join the NDP, to get him out of prison. We do not belong to parties," his mother told the NDP member.

When Gad's mother visited her son in prison she discovered that he had lost a lot of weight and had a serious cough. Gad told his mother that he is kept in solitary confinement and that he is deprived of sunlight and does not get the medication needed for his respiratory illness. When he filed a complaint with the prison's commissioner he was threatened with death. He was told that "all that is needed is a shovel, a hole, and a soldier to bury you."

According to ANHRI, these blatant violations represent punishable criminal acts, but alas there is no authority to punish the interior ministry's workers or the NDP. They are empowered by an emergency law and have been for 30 years.

ANHRI said Gad's current treatment is part of a series of crimes against him for writing an article on his blog that angered the Egyptian government. He was kidnapped, tortured, and illegally detained in the headquarters of the state security, and was humiliated and denied medical care.

ANHRI asserts that impunity has mushroomed in Egypt. ANHRI addresses the public and international community, to inform everyone of this ongoing crime.

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