CAIRO: Rights group Amnesty International is calling on Egyptian authorities to disclose the whereabouts of a man arrested over a month ago.
Romauld Durand, a French national, was arrested at Cairo airport on April 21, 2009.
The 35-year-old was returning from France, where he was visiting his mother.
“He was able to text his family to inform them he had been arrested, but this was the last they heard from him. The Egyptian authorities initially denied holding him. A few days later, they acknowledged to the French consulate that he was in custody, Amnesty International’s urgent action alert reads.
“Neither his family nor the French consulate have had access to him and the authorities have not disclosed where he is or why he was arrested: they have only confirmed that he is being held in Egypt.
Amnesty International says that individuals held in state security investigations custody are at risk of torture, “especially when they are held incommunicado and at undisclosed locations.
Durand, a student of Arabic, lives in Cairo with his wife and two children. According to Amnesty International, his visa does not expire until November 2009.
The human rights group mentions several recent arrest campaigns targeting foreigners in Egypt.
“The authorities arrested a number of foreign nationals in May, ostensibly as part of an operation to enforce visa regulations, the urgent action alert reads.
“A few days earlier, the Egyptian authorities announced that they had arrested seven people in connection with the El-Hussein bombing, Cairo, in February 2009, including two Britons and a French woman of Lebanese origin.
According to an Interior Ministry statement, the foreigners currently in state security investigations custody are a British man of Egyptian descent, a Belgian of Tunisian descent and a French woman of Algerian descent.
Two Palestinians and two Egyptians were also arrested with them, according to the Interior Ministry.
The French Consulate declined to comment on the case.-Additional reporting by Noah Rayman