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Egyptian authorities detain blogger in airport

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights information (ANHRI) accused the Egyptian government of continuing to harass its citizens as airport authorities detained a blogger upon his arrival at the airport.

State security officers at Cairo International Airport detained Wael Abbas, blogger and activist, for more than five hours early in the morning of 30 June 2009 upon his arrival from Sweden where he attended a conference. State security officers escorted him to an office where he was detained for five hours, during which he was not offered any food and he was not allowed to use the restroom. His passport and laptop were confiscated. He was inspected and his handbag and medicines scrutinized. Wael refused to sign a receipt for his confiscated belongings. His luggage was also lost after such a long detention.

Hamdy Al-Assiuoty, law unit counselor at ANHRI, declared that these provocative actions of the Egyptian state security investigation service towards human rights activists upon their departure or arrival are totally illegal. Detention, inspection and scrutiny of their belongings are meant to harass and prevent them from exercising their constitutional right of freedom of expression and opinion.

ANHRI has already filed a communiqué to the general prosecutor to hold to account the perpetrators.

ANHRI condemns the state security's continuous harassment of Egyptians and their utter disrespect for the law, acting as if they rule Egypt with a law of their own.

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