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U.N. rights office urges Egypt to free Attorneys, activist

Last updated on October 18, 2019

The U.N. human rights division called on Egypt on Friday to spare two notable attorneys and a journalist supposedly mistreated in custody that are among almost 2,000 people arrested since road protests started a month ago.

Officials in the interior ministry weren’t immediately available for comment. The state prosecutor’s office stated in late September that it had contested some not exceeding 1,000 suspects that participate in the demonstrations.

“Regrettably such arrests are ongoing and have included quite a few respected and well-known civil society statistics,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a news briefing in Geneva.

Sisi, that came to power afterward, whilst military leader, leading the 2013 overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, has dominated a wide crackdown on dissent which has expanded to liberal and Islamist groups, which rights groups say is that the most acute in recent memory.

Journalist and activist Esraa Abdelfattah was detained by plainclothes security officers at Cairo on Oct. 12 and has been allegedly beaten after she refused to unlock her cell phone, Shamdasani explained.

Alaa Abdel Fattah, a blogger and applications engineer, premiered in March after working out a sentence for protesting with consent, but had been re-arrested on Sept 29, Shamdasani explained. The identical day, his attorney Mohamed al-Baqer was detained while attending the interrogation, she added.

Abdel Fattah was struck by guards onto his neck and back while being made to walk down a corridor in his underwear, whilst al-Baqer was subjected to verbal and physical abuse, and refused water and medical help, she said.