CAIRO: In separate incidents, two political activists were detained and released over the Eid holiday.
Walid Shawqy, an activist with the National Association for Change (NAC) founded by Mohamed ElBaradei, was arrested early on Friday morning after Eid prayers and taken to a police station in Dakerness, El-Daqhileya.
Fellow activist Ahmed Bermawy wrote on micro-blogging website Twitter, that Shawqy was arrested while “handing out copies of the petition for change after prayers”.
The NAC says that over 600,000 people have signed its petition for change since it was drawn up in March. State security forces, which closely monitor opposition political activity, have made numerous arrests of ElBaradei supporters.
In April, there were even accusations that the influence of Egypt’s state security forces had spread to Kuwait, when a group of Egyptian ElBaradei supporters residing in the Gulf state were arrested and deported back to Egypt.
According to Bermawy, Shawqy was released at around 11 pm the same day as his arrest.
In a separate incident Amr Salah, a researcher with the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), was “kidnapped in front of his home at approximately 4 am on Thursday, Sept. 9,” CIHRS says in a statement.
“An eyewitness has told CIHRS that four men in civilian clothes got out of a white jeep with blackened windows and stopped Mr Salah as he was returning home at 4 am,” the statement reads.
“They were seen beating and handcuffing him before putting him in the vehicle. The men identified themselves to the eyewitnesses as members of Egyptian security.”
Salah’s relatives were not informed of his whereabouts during his detention. He was released on Friday morning.