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Human Rights Watch researcher, other activists, detained in Cairo

(Human Rights Watch/IFEX) - Cairo, February 3, 2011 - Human Rights Watch researcher Daniel Williams was detained by Egyptian security forces in Cairo today. Williams was one of several international and Egyptian human rights activists picked up in a raid on the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, including a researcher for Amnesty International. Human Rights Watch is endeavoring to contact Williams in custody and secure his release.

Williams' detention is part of a clear campaign against independent eyewitnesses of the violence in Egypt, including journalists and civil society activists. Human Rights Watch condemned the crackdown and called on the Egyptian government to release those detained immediately.

The offices of the law center were raided by police and army personnel. The human rights monitors were interrogated in the office before being taken away in a microbus. As they were taken away they were insulted by a group, apparently government supporters, who had gathered in the street.

Human Rights Watch is currently unaware of the whereabouts of those who were detained. "Egyptian authorities should immediately and safely release our colleague and the other human rights monitors detained today," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.

"The authorities should immediately halt the arrest and harassment of independent witnesses to the orchestrated attacks on peaceful demonstrators in Egypt."

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