CAIRO: Three organizations have condemned the detention of blogger Reda Abdel-Rahman Ali, who was taken away by state security forces during an early raid of his home in Sharqeya on Oct. 27.
According to a press release issued in the days following Ali’s detention by the Egyptian Initiative Personal Rights (EIPR), Ali is being detained because he is a Quranist.
Egyptian Quranists have been detained on previous occasions solely because of their religious beliefs.
In 2007, EIPR reported that five Quranists were held in administrative detention and questioned about their religious beliefs.
Reda Abdel-Rahman is the latest victim of systemic violations of freedom of belief and expression by the State Security Intelligence, said Adel Ramadan, the EIPR s legal officer who represents the blogger s family in the press statement.
We are waiting for the public prosecutor to intervene immediately to stop these violations and end impunity for their perpetrators.
In a statement issued this week, the International Quranic Center termed Ali’s case a “forced disappearance.
“Since his abduction, Reda s family and lawyers have been trying to locate Reda in the Egyptian prison system. However, the prison authorities refuse to acknowledge that he is indeed in their custody, the International Quranic Center’s statement reads.
“On Nov. 26, exactly one month after his disappearance, his family and supporters organized a silent protest in front of the Egyptian Attorney General s office to demand that the authorities release information about Reda. The government has yet to respond to the protest.
Reporters Without Borders reports that Abdel-Rahman has been blogging for nearly two years and that “he has had countless problems with his employer [Abdel-Rahman works as a social workers in a preparatory school affiliated to Al-Azhar University] in connection with his writing.
“His sister said he had been threatened with legal proceedings by Al-Azhar for his articles on the Quranists movement, the statement continues.
Quranists are Muslims who believe the Quran to be the paramount source of jurisprudence.
The International Quranic Center describes Quranists as “a group of peaceful Muslim scholars and activists who advocate a modern, progressive interpretation of Islam that respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international legal conventions, rather than the fanatic interpretations of Islamic law that are increasingly gaining strength in the Muslim world.
“In many ways, the Quranists see themselves as waging a war of ideas against Islamist terrorists.