Wednesday, February 20, 2008

IkhwanWeb.com Editor Arrested

Egyptian State Security Apparatus forces arrested Khaled Hamza Salam, IkhwanWeb.com co Editor in Cairo Wednesday morning. Hamza was on his way home from a meeting with the Director of the Arab Organization for Human Rights discussing the deteriorating human rights conditions in Egypt, when he was kidnapped by police forces. His arrest comes as a major setback for reform in Egypt. Hamza is known for his moderate stances and openness. I was personally shocked by the arrest. Only a few hours prior to that, we had a meeting together to discuss deteriorating human rights conditions, in light of the concluding military tribunal and the ongoing arrests for MB members ahead of the municipal elections. I left to allow him to go to his meeting after which he was arrested. AbdelMonem Mahmoud, MB activist, blogger and friend, told me he recieved phone calls from political activists from different backgrounds condemning the arrests. One the callers was crying, not believing that Hamza is now behind bars. I have worked with Hamza for 2 years, and spent hundreds of hours with him discussing domestic, regional and international affairs. His views have almost always proven to be correct, and I have benefited a great deal from his insights and opinions. I owe a great deal of whatever I know to his guidance and to the discussions we had. Once again, I fail to comprehend the regime's rationale behind the arrest. Instead of facing economic corruption that has led to extreme levels of poverty as most Egyptians live below poverty line, and instead of attempting to resolve political problems with the mounting number of torture scandals, strikes, workers' riots and protests, the regime is escalating its crackdown on the Brotherhood's moderate figures. The regime is attemting to cause a major setback to its strongest civil opposition group. While that might be partially successful on the very short term (as it might affect the Brotherhood's performance in the upcoming municipal elections) it will only lead to increasing tension and instability in Egypt, which is already facing a gloomy future with the insistence on the regime to continuously resort to extralegal measures to silence its political opponents. Hamza's arrest is manifestation of the regime's brutality, disrespect of law, violation of freedom of expression and freedom of speech, and violation to every human rights declaration, and is, at the same time, a sign of political immaturity that would lead to catastrophic results

1 comment:

Neva said...

Interesting to know.