By Mai Shams El-Din
CAIRO: Human Rights Watch (HRW) along with Egyptian human rights organizations and two internet-based groups documented scores of people who went missing since Egypt’s military rulers took charge of security on Jan. 28, according to a report issued by HRW.
Human rights activists confirmed that the military, who is ruling the country since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster on Feb. 11, is allegedly detaining most of those who were reported missing.
The military said on Feb. 20 that it is holding protesters in its custody, but did not yet list the names of those detained according to a report issued by HRW last Saturday.
“Vague promises to release detainees are not enough,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said. “Egypt’s interim authorities should immediately publish a list of everyone they are holding, and every detainee should be brought before a judge straight away.”
According to the report, Egyptian human rights groups managed to compile a list of 66 detained protesters, of which eight remain missing, 17 were detained and released, two returned home after being hospitalized for injuries, and four were found to have been killed when police fired on demonstrators between January 25 and January 28.
“The number of people still detained in connection with protests is difficult to determine, in part because it is uncertain that all detentions were reported and in part because families who report missing relatives do not necessarily report their release,” the report read.
Meanwhile, another report by Amnesty International called on Egypt’s military rulers to protect the families of the martyrs of Jan. 25 revolution from intimidation reprisals by security forces.
Amnesty confirmed that it received complaints by the families of those killed by security forces in the wave of protests to prevent them from reporting the violations and violent crackdown of the police.
“Egyptians must know that reports of intimidation will be investigated and that those behind the recent violence will be brought to justice,” the report read.
“Amnesty International is therefore also urging Egyptian authorities to take special measures to assist those seeking information to help them determine what happened and who should be held responsible.”
Human rights activist Ramy Raoof told Daily News Egypt that the Front to Defend Egypt’s Protesters is still compiling a list of the detainees who are missing.
“The list available now is far from the real numbers of the detainees, we are still in the process of collecting data regarding those who went missing after the last events,” he said.
“However, the numbers we got for those who were killed during the protests are beyond the official numbers. Up till now they reached 527,” he said.