Egyptian military police have arrested film director Aida El Kashef, graphic artist Mohamed Fahmy (Ganzeer) and activist Abdel Rahman Amin, while they were hanging posters in downtown Cairo.
They are being questioned by the military authorities and may face a military trial. Their lawyers were not allowed to see them and were denied access to the building where they are detained.
The Coalition of Independent Culture (CIC) strongly condemns the detention of these artists. Such detention is a direct violation of the international human rights agreements ratified by Egypt, which guarantees the protection of freedom of expression and opinion (article 19 of the Universal Human Rights declaration).
CIC deplores the Supreme Military Council's actions of subjecting civilians to military trials. This contradicts the constitutional rights of citizens,for a just trial by the judicial authorities. The Supreme Military Council has been ignoring calls for a stop to these unfair trials.
The coalition calls on the Minister of Culture, Emad Abou Ghazi to act promptly in defense of freedom of expression and creativity, and to call upon the Supreme Military Council to release these three people immediately.
CIC also appeals to all professional unions, civil society and international organisations that are concerned with the freedom of expression and opinion, to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities to abandon the practices of oppression and unjust detention.