CAIRO: Activist Philip Rizk has been released four days after being abducted by state security investigations forces.
Rizk is at home with his family and “doing OK according to his friend Ahmed El-Droubi.
“I spoke to Philip briefly this morning after he was released and he’s doing OK, El-Droubi said.
“His family rang me around 2 am to tell me that Maged Rizk [Rizk’s father] was on the phone with Philip. He was subsequently released around 3 am, he continued.
El-Droubi says that he thinks that Rizk was dropped off somewhere in Maadi by state security officers.
“I can’t say this with absolute certainty however because when I talked to Philip we didn’t discuss the details of his detention or release, El-Droubi said.
Rizk, who turns 27 today, was abducted on Friday Feb. 6, 2009 after a peaceful solidarity march for Gaza he organized with others as part of their ‘To Gaza’ campaign.
The 15 people who took part in the march were stopped by the police at around 5 pm. Philip was singled out for questioning four hours later and taken into the Abu Zabal police station, Qaliubiya.
Rizk, an Egyptian-German citizen, was next seen in the back of an unmarked white microbus whose number plates had been covered by a piece of cloth, leaving the police station.
Rizk subsequently disappeared and was held in incommunicado detention for four days, in an unknown location.
His family received conflicting reports that he was variously being held in Nasr City, Maadi and Lazoghly state security investigations headquarters.
Amnesty International warned in an urgent action statement issued on Tuesday that the fact that Rizk was in incommunicado detention placed him at risk of torture and mistreatment.
Twenty-four hours after Rizk s abduction state security officers entered both his family home and the apartment he shares with his sister Jeannette.
Rizk s parents and sister were subjected to a four-hour ordeal which began at 1 am when state security officers and policemen armed with guns arrived at the family home and searched it.
The family discovered the next day that Rizk s apartment had been entered using his own keys.
There has been a sustained campaign for Rizk s release both in Egypt and internationally, with protests held in the UK and US.
The night prior to Rizk s release, activists organized a protest for him and five other detainees held in connection with pro-Gaza activities.
While the BBC quotes an unnamed security official as stating that an inquiry is continuing into Rizk s activities, his family states on a Facebook group that the activist has expressed his wish that “all upcoming planned protests and marches still take place to end the siege on Gaza.