CAIRO: The administrator and arguably the real creator of the April 6 Strike group on Facebook Ahmed Maher was detained briefly Wednesday and beaten, his lawyer told Daily News Egypt.
Khaled Ali, who is the head of the Hisham Mubarak Center for Human Rights, posted details of the incident on the center’s website saying Maher was detained for the better part of the day before being released at dawn.
According to Ali, Maher was near his home in New Cairo and on his way to work at 1 pm when he was forced from his car and thrown into a microbus where he was transported to the local police station.
He was beaten there and then transported to State Security headquarters in Lazoghly downtown at 4 pm. There, he was reportedly tied at the feet and hung upside down and beaten again, Ali said.
Maher was dragged by the rope and was threatened with rape, all the while being questioned about the Facebook group and its password, Ali added.
When a group is created on Facebook, a password is not needed, with the creators and chosen “officers given direct access to moderation of the group.
Maher was told that he amounted to nothing, the country was under control and a bunch of kids would not be able to change anything.
Ali told Daily News Egypt that State Security officers were angry that Maher had ignored a previous request to appear at the headquarters for questioning.
At that point another officer came in and shouted at the ones beating Maher telling them he had not ordered them to do this. The officer then told Maher they knew he was a patriot but that there were others within the group who were attempting to sabotage the country.
At that point the officer told him he would be released and he was given his clothes and other articles with the exception of his camera which the officer promised would be returned later. He was then taken back to his car at 4 am.
“It’s a message to Ahmed and all the other youth, Ali said, “and we need to have this known in the media. They took Esraa and now Ahmed.
Esraa Abdel-Fattah was detained for 16 days for creating the Facebook group calling for a nationwide strike on April 6. Abdel-Fattah is actually Maher’s assistant and created the group under his direction, according to Ali.
“She (Esraa) was taken by mistake, Ali said, “and after she was detained Ahmed came out in the press stating that he was the creator of the group.
Ali will meet with Maher today to discuss whether any legal action will be taken.
“We haven’t decided what to do yet because there are no visible bruise marks and Ahmed didn’t see clearly who struck him. To take this to court, there must be someone to specifically accuse, Ali said.
The April 6 strike was called for by local opposition groups to protest rising prices in the country.