CAIRO: Lawyers at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) are demanding an urgent investigation into what they describe as the illegal detention of an Egyptian Quranist.
According to a statement issued Thursday by the NGO, Abdel Latif Mohamed Said was stopped at Cairo Airport on Wednesday at 11 am by security bodies as he attempted to travel to Sudan to attend the World Cup qualifier match between Egypt and Algeria played that evening.
EIPR say that according to information they have received Said, a 40-year-old engineer, was held overnight in the airport before being transferred to a state security investigations office in Shubra El-Kheima, Cairo at around 1 pm on Thursday.
This is the second time that Said has been barred from traveling. In April 2009 while attempting to travel to the United States he was stopped at Cairo Airport for no reason other than upon orders from state security.
EIPR earlier this year lodged a case seeking to quash the travel ban.
EIPR lawyer Adel Ramadan told Daily News Egypt that the interior ministry had submitted a document to the Administrative Court in which it stated expressly that officially, no travel ban has been issued against Said. It was on the basis of this information that Said took the decision to travel on Wednesday.
The Administrative Court is expected to issue a decision in the case on Nov. 24 2009.
Abdel Latif was detained for five months in May 2007 for his adoption of Quranist beliefs. He and four others were questioned on charges of contempt for Islam by considering the Quran as the paramount source for Islamic jurisprudence and not recognizing the Sunna, or sayings and habits of Prophet Mohamed.
According to EIPR when Said was arrested in 2007 security officers printed everything he had written online about Quranism during his questioning.