CAIRO: Head of the freedoms committee at the Journalists’ Syndicate Mohamed Abdel Quddous submitted a request calling for an investigation into what he termed his “kidnap by a branch of the central security apparatus on April 6, the day of the nationwide strike.
Abdel Quddous said he was taken from his car at a main intersection near his home in Zamalek at 9 am by five plainclothes officers from the Special Forces unit of Central Security. He was then allegedly bundled into another car before being led to a detention facility in the suburb of Maadi, where he was kept until the evening.
“I was being watched as I left my house, Abdel Quddous told Daily News Egypt, “they dragged me by force from my car, held me and placed me in another car.
The officers placed a jacket over his head and kept him in the central security facility along with other high profile supporters of the April 6 strike, including the editor-in-chief of Al-Shaab newspaper Magdy Hussein.
They were all detained at the facility until the evening before being released. According to Abdel Quddous, they were not interrogated by anyone, just left to wait until nightfall.
“They were afraid I would be doing something at the Syndicate, Abdel Quddous said.
Abdel Quddous has sent a memo to the Syndicate board requesting them to send a letter to the Minister of Interior to investigate the incident.
However, he was not waiting on any tangible results.
“I don’t expect anything to come out of this memo, but we do what we need to do, he said.
Abdel Quddous labeled the incident “police strong-arming, which is not surprising for a country governed by emergency law. They could not have treated me any worse.
“The strange thing is that it happened in Zamalek during the day in a crowded area, they didn’t try to hide anything, they are not worried anymore about doing what they do in plain sight, he added.
Numerous supporters and participants in the strike have been detained in its wake, notable among them leading Kefaya figure George Ishaq, who was arrested last Wednesday and released Friday on LE 10,000 bail.
Arrests were rampant in Mahalla El-Kobra, which was the epicenter of the strike, but Abdel Quddous believes that the tide of dissent will not be quelled.
“This crackdown will have a reverse effect, he said. “What happened on April 6 was the first popular uprising in [President] Hosni Mubarak’s reign. The government has reached a dead end. What happened on April 6 is just a warning. It is only the beginning.