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Blogger beaten by state security officer, held illegally despite completion of sentence

(ANHRI/IFEX) - 10 November 2010 - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounces the fact that Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer has been subjected to a beating by a State Security Intelligence (SSI) officer, at the SSI headquarters known as the "Pharaohs", in Alexandria. Moreover Amer has been illegally held for five days, as he was supposed to be released on 5 November 2010, after having served his four-year prison sentence which was handed down by the Alexandria Misdemeanors court.

Kareem Amer was transferred from Burj Al Arab prison to Alexandria on 6 November with the apparent aim of releasing him. However, he was subsequently detained by intelligence officers at the SSI's headquarters in Alexandria. Moreover, on 9 November, he was beaten by a junior officer and an order for his detention was issued. The authorities are apparently turning a deaf ear to the law, as the officer involved will escape punishment and not be held accountable for this crime.

ANHRI director Gamal Eid said, "These sadistic practices against an unarmed prisoner create a climate of hatred against the police in general and SSI officers in particular. Kareem Amer already served the complete term of his four-year sentence, and releasing him has become mandatory. Why was he beaten and held illegally?"

"The Interior Minister has to know now who offended the reputation of his ministry - his officers who attack an unarmed prisoner who was due to be released, or the person who exposed these crimes that have already taken place?" Eid added.
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