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Security forces arrest political activist

(ANHRI/IFEX) - On 25 September 2010, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said that security forces in Alexandria had arrested the former leftist and leader of the National Assembly for Change, Abu al-Ezz al-Hariry, while he was in his bookshop. It is alleged that his bookshop had illegal school books that violated intellectual property rights, as per the claims of the Ministry of Education.

Al-Hariry recently organized a political protest against succession, when he got into an argument with Moharam Bek police station officers, who are known for their cruelty towards citizens. Several police officers from the Moharam Bek police station are on trial for torturing Khaled Said to death.

Abd al-Galeel Mostafa, coordinator of the National Assembly for Change, said, "These criminal allegations are a good excuse for political detention. Al-Hariry is a distinguished political activist who security will not miss. The reason behind his arrest is quite clear."

Disputes have begun between the Ministry of Education and publishers of workbooks for students, yet security has never previously arrested bookshop owners for distributing those books. This detention raises fears that arresting al-Hariry is the start of the fabrication of criminal charges against political activists who are calling for democracy in Egypt.

ANHRI said, "It is not enough that the public prosecution releases political activists who are arbitrarily arrested by security. We insist on holding the police officers accountable for misuse of the law and authority. Leniency results in abduction and detention becoming a routine and normal practice for police officers who enjoy impunity."

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