CAIRO: Political activist Bassem Aboul Magd has been missing since being arrested by State Security on Aug. 10 after refusing an summon from an officer in Alexandria, and is currently being detained in unidentified location, according to a statement by the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
Aboul Magd is the campaign coordinator for presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi, head of the unlicensed opposition Karama Party.
On the day of his arrest, Aboul Magd was working on a campaign to collect signatures calling for constitutional reform, as part of Sabbahi’s presidential campaign.
“The public prosecution is compelled to deter police officers of such oppressive and illegal practices. The prosecution represents the whole nation not only the government and state officials,” said ANHRI Executive Director Gamal Eid.
“If a political activist is abducted for peaceful advocacy of a potential presidential nominee and no investigation takes place, we can be certain that we are facing a police state where law receives no respect and has no rule,” he added.
This is the second time Aboul Magd is arrested, or “abducted,” according to human rights activists, by the State Security.
He was first arrested for a week in July 2009 for being a member of Karama Nasserite party, during which time he was reportedly tortured and mistreated by officers before he was dumped on the Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road.
A complaint he filed with the Public Prosecutor led nowhere.
According to ANHRI, activists and political powers have called for a peaceful demonstration on Saturday at noon in Alexandria’s Manshiya Square to protest the escalated illegal arrests and harassment against political activists.
For its part, the Karama Party said it will hold solidarity protest in front of Al-Haqaneya Court in Alexandria on Saturday.
Ahmed El-Masry, member of Karama Party, said three days have passed since Aboul Magd’s house was searched by State Security and he has not been found at any of the police stations while State Security has denied that he is in custody.