Egypt frees jailed Shia rights activists, say lawyers

Daily News Egypt
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Two Shia activists in Egypt who were arrested in October while campaigning against torture have been released, their lawyers said on Sunday. Mohamed Al-Dereini, who heads the Shia Supreme Council for the Care of the Prophet’s Family, was released on Saturday while Ahmed Sobh, who runs the Imam Ali Centre for Human Rights, was freed on Nov. 25, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre (HMLC) said in a joint statement, that Al-Dereini, held on Oct. 1, was charged with “spreading false rumors and inciting propaganda that could promote terror amongst people, disturb public security and the rule of law and undermine the trust in security agencies through claiming that prisoners and detainees died as a result of torture in prisons. Al-Dereini, who had already spent 15 months in prison in 2004-2005 for belonging to an illegal organization, has also published a book called “Hell’s Capital which focuses on torture. Al-Dereini and Sobh had also given separate interviews in which they said there was widespread torture of Islamist detainees in Egyptian jails. Their detention drew sharp criticism from local and international rights groups. Shias are a tiny minority in Egypt where they account for less than one percent of the 76-million population, which comprises mostly Sunni Muslims. According to the London-based human rights organization Amnesty International, torture in Egyptian detention centers is systematic, and in most cases the perpetrators are never brought to justice. Egypt says any cases of torture reported in its prisons are isolated and that charges are brought against those who use it. -AFP

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