CAIRO: Security forces in Ismailia allegedly vandalized and confiscated on Tuesday the car belonging to detained Sinai activist and blogger Musaad Abu Fagr without legal permission.
According to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRInfo), a Cairo-based NGO, a number of police officers allegedly smashed the car windows and drove away in the vehicle, which was parked outside Abu Fagr’s home.
The incident occurred only two days before the activist’s anticipated detention renewal.
“The policemen broke into the car without providing information on who they were and why they were doing it, HRInfo Director Gamal Eid told Daily News Egypt.
Abu Fagr, also known as Musaad Suleiman Hassan, is considered a key player in “Wedna Ne’iesh (We want to live), a public movement dedicated to concerns and problems faced by Sinai residents. He is also the moderator of a blog critical of the government, which carries the same name as the movement.
Abu Fagr was arrested in his Ismailia home on Dec. 26, 2007 and subsequently charged with “instigating riots and dispersing public money.
His house was searched and police confiscated his mobile phone and his computer hard drive.
Abu Fagr is currently being held in El-Arish prison in Sinai.
Rights groups stress that Abu Fagr’s arrest is a direct result of his activism.
It has previously been reported that his detention was an attempt by Egyptian authorities to prevent the activist from taking part in a sit-in organized by members of the Sinai community against aggressive bank policies.
“It is unfortunate that the security intimidation stick is the fastest solution the Egyptian government resorts to against the people of Sinai. Resorting to repression would mean a failure in dealing with the citizens whose rights are being violated and are feeling disadvantaged and discriminated, said Mina Zekri of HRInfo.
Eid expressed concerns over Abu Fagr, telling Daily News Egypt that he is “worried that his detention will be renewed.
HRInfo called on the Egyptian government to release Abu Fagr and “establish a dialogue through which the problems of Sinai residents’ problems could be solved.