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Egyptian blogger arrested since July

Mohamed Refaat

A young Egyptian blogger Mohamed Refaat has being in jail since July, though the editor of the blog Matabbat was ordered to be released. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and Hisham Mubarak Law Center reported in a statement:

The state security apparatus had raided Mohamed Refaat’s home early in the morning on 21st of July 2008 in his absence, and seized his PC, and many of his books, and when Mohamed Refaat approached the officer “ Hisham Tawfik” in the morning in the state security offices, he shocked by the fabricated charges of “inciting to strike on the occasion of 23rd July”, he was then referred to the state security prosecution office in the case no. 1143 for the year 2008

The Prosecution accused Refaat of calling for a demonstration on the occasion marking the anniversary of the 23 July Revolution and distributing anti-regime fliers, in addition to other charges such as joining the legally banned Muslim Brotherhood Group and calling for demonstrations in front of places of worship and public squares in favor of the Group

Mohamed Refaat’s blog did not include any thing about this alleged strike. The Egyptian detained blogger used to write his dairy , and write postings about love, life in Cairo and some personal stuff. Refaat was accused of “offending the state institutions, destabilizing the public security, and inciting for demonstrations and strikes via internet” and these charges need no evidence.

The state security had decided to release him on 17th of August, but the state security investigation agency had taken him once again to the state security investigation quarters, and withheld him for a week, until an order to arrest him was issued under the state emergency law.

In 29 August, Members of the April 6 Youth Movement, Ghad Party, General Nasserite Conference and Arab Youth Forum staged a protest in front of the Public Prosecutor’s office in Cairo, calling for the release of the detained blogger in accordance with a State Security Prosecution decision.

Refaat Bayoumi, a Nasserite key figure, said his son Mohamed, an activist on ’Facebook’, was transported to Wadi el-Natroun Prison.Arab Reform Initiative web page (http://www.arab-reform.net), quoted the Mohamed's father:

It is illogical that Mohamed is detained under the emergency law although the State Security Prosecution has released him. My son is not a terrorist or a drug dealer.

A delegation representing Refaat’s family and human rights activists lodged a complaint to the Public Prosecutor calling for his intervention to set Refaat free.

The Egyptian blogosphere witnessed subsequently arrests of its members, usually not in charge of writing in their blogs, but because of their political activism. But after some internet users called for a general strike in last april, via a Facebook group called 6th April, the creator and administer of the group were arrested Israa Abdel Tawwab were jailed for weeks and Ahmad Maher was subjected to torture.

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