10 November 2013

Egypt: State Security Service Reinstates Its Policing Role in Cairo Airport, It Unlawfully Stops Citizens and Interrogates Them

press release

Cairo: — The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, ANHRI, condemned today the return of the Egyptian State Security Service's practices and using the arrivals watch list in Cairo Airport without an order from the court or the prosecution, as the two leaders in 6 April Youth Movement- Mohamed Adel and Ramy Al-sayyed- were stopped for 3 hours and subjected to unlawful interrogation.

Adel and Ramy had been returning to Cairo on Friday, following a tour abroad to participate in a conference. They were surprised to find the state security officers awaiting them. The officers had interrogated them for three hours on the reasons of their travel to Bulgaria as well as the topics that they had discussed in the conference along with their views that they had voiced.

Despite the fact that Adel and Ramy refused these practices in addressing them and they had objected to this procedure by the security because it is illegal, the officers inspected their cell phones, tablets and laptops; according to the activists' complaints. Moreover, the officers had kept a copy of all the data on these devices after using programs to decode their cell phones passwords in addition to trying to know the passwords of their e-mails.

ANHRI said that, "Following the incident of storming the house of journalist Ahmed El-Swefi at midnight by the Security forces of the National Security, comes the incident of 6 April activists to disclose the return of the Egyptian political police service, known as State Security Service, in order to prosecute and torture activists and opinion makers. Likewise, it reveals the return to the practices of Habib Al-Adly, the former, offensive minister of interio, as well as the pre-25th of January, 2011 police state, which the Revolution has undermined, by Mohamed Ibrahim- the current interior minister.

ANHRI added that, "The prosecutor is solely authorized to make the decisions of arrivals watch list or interrogation of Egyptian citizens. This procedure, which was made by the State Security Services, reveals that Egypt's interior ministry still breaches the law and wastes justice. Therefore, ANHRI urges the prosecutor, Judge Hesham Barakat, to seriously investigate these violations in order not to make these practices repeated by the State Security Service.

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