Quranist blogger released after 88-day detention

Sarah Carr
2 Min Read

CAIRO: Eighty-eight days after he was arrested, Quranist blogger Reda Abdel Rahman was released, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) reported Sunday.

His release comes 16 days after an unchallengeable court ruling ordered that he be freed.

Abdel Rahman was arrested in Sharqeyya in the early hours of Oct. 27, 2008.

The 32-year-old social worker is a Quranist who writes about his beliefs on his blog Justice, Freedom, Liberty (elaphblog.com/redareda).

While in detention, EIPR says in its press statement that Abdel Rahman was interrogated about his beliefs and opinions “on religious matters connected with the extent of his faith in the Sunna [sayings of the Prophet], and how he prays.

EIPR says that Abdel Rahman has been charged with “insulting Islam and calls for these charges to be dropped.

The NGO also calls for the opening of an investigation into those responsible for detaining him illegally.

Abdel Rahman was held under the emergency law.

The law allows individuals to be held in administrative detention and is often criticized by rights groups who say that its powers are misused in order to detain political opponents and others outside the scope of scrutiny by the ordinary judiciary.

Abdel Rahman s lawyers twice won court release orders. On Jan. 6, 2009 the Supreme State Security Court issued a final, unchallengeable verdict ordering the blogger s release and upholding a previous release order issued on Dec. 14, 2008.

EIPR says that Abdel Rahman was brought before the State Security Prosecution Office on Jan. 8, 2009 which ordered that he be released.

Abdel Rahman was nonetheless illegally detained in the Zagazig state security headquarters for a further 14 days.

The Quranists believe that the Quran is the sole source of Islamic jurisprudence.

Egyptian Quranists have been detained on previous occasions solely because of their religious beliefs.

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Sarah Carr is a British-Egyptian journalist in Cairo. She blogs at www.inanities.org.
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