(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 3 March 2012 - ANHRI condemns the arrest and arbitrary detention of 12 Egyptian citizens for over 10 hours by Qatari security forces following a friendly football match between the Egyptian and Congolese national teams in the Qatari stadium of Ghafara on 3 March 2012.
The 12 Egyptian citizens held banners that condemned the killing of the martyrs of the Port Said massacre, which took place a few weeks ago in the stadium of the Egyptian city of Port Said. The banners did not read anything unlawful, but only read the fans' views on the rule of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) and expressed their solidarity with the martyrs of the Ultras (football fans), who died in an incident that the SCAF bears political responsibility for. However, the Qatari security forces detained the Egyptian fans for allegedly holding offensive banners in the stands.
These Egyptian citizens were subjected to cruel and degrading treatment for over 10 hours, the duration of their detention. They were released following interrogation.
“This incident resembles the case of Syrian citizens in the Emirates who demonstrated against the massacres of the Syrian dictator al-Assad. The two incidents illustrate the aversion of Arab governments to freedom of expression and restrictions on those who exercise this right, whether citizens or expatriates,” said ANHRI.
“The ongoing degradation of the situation of Egyptian citizens abroad, and the inaction of the SCAF and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, perpetuates the Mubarak's regime policies and negligence to the circumstances of Egyptian abroad, and shows indifference to the slogan of human dignity raised by the Egyptians during their revolution,” added ANHRI.