Human rights groups have issued a statement condemning a police raid on the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). Ten groups described Wednesday's raid in downtown Cairo as taking place amid a media campaign against NGOs and rights organisations.
"During the raid six human rights defenders were arrested and held
incommunicado: Mustafa Eissa, head of ECESR documentaries unit; Mahmoud
Belal, a lawyer; and four volunteers: Hossam Mohamed Nasr, El-Sayed
Mahmoud El-Sayed, Mohamed Adel, and Sherif Ashour. Five of the six
detainees were released on Thursday morning. Also laptops and other material that ghad been confiscated was bgiven back. But one staff member, Mohamed Adel, who is also a well known member of the 6 April group, is still
"These human rights defenders were working on a documentary about the
Iron and Steel Workers Union strike which was intended to be screened at
a press conference today," the statement said.
The groups compared the raid to one that took place at the Hisham Mubarak Human Rights Centre on 3 February 2011.
"This is a clear effort to crack down on any voice objecting to human rights abuses committed by the interior ministry and security forces. There have been a series of detentions and fake trials of people who
object to the actions of the ruling regime," the statement said. Signatories of the statement were: Arab Network for Human Rights
Information (ANHRI), Egyptian Association for Community Participation
Enhancement, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Nadeem
Centre, Hisham Mubarak Centre, Nazra Institute for Feminist Studies,
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, New Woman Foundation,
Misryoon Against Religious Discrimination, and Egyptian Foundation for
Advancement of Childhood Conditions.