Family of blind sheikh to hold sit-in for his release

Ahram Online, Wednesday 10 Aug 2011

After being incarcerated for almost 20 years, on accusations of terrorism, Omar Abdel Rahman still has support of his family

Omar Abdel Rahman
Omar Abdel Rahman

The family of cleric Omar Abdel Rahman, who has been jailed in the US for nearly a couple of decades, has called for an open, ‘peaceful’ sit-in, outside the American embassy in Egypt to demand his release.

Abdel Rahman, one of Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya’s figures, has been held in US-based facilities for his ‘involvement’ in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, and is also said to have planned the 2001 attacks on the twin towers and the Pentagon’s headquarters from inside prison.

His elder son, Sheikh Abdullah, told Ahram Online over the phone: “His family and those who support him opted to stage a peaceful sit-in, in front the American embassy starting this Friday, 12 August.”

The sit-in is planned to start after Friday’s prayers. Demonstrators will head to the American Embassy from Omar Makram Mosque.

In the invitation sent to gather more people for the sit-in, Abdel Rahman’s family said: “We want to support a scholar who has been unfairly incarcerated in American prisons for 18 years just to satisfy [Hosni] Mubarak’s regime.”  

The Islamic forces were limited ‎by the relentless defamation and suppression of Islamists of the toppled Egyptian regime.

Seventy-three-year-old Abdel Rahman, who lost his sight ten months after his birth, has been serving a life sentence. He was previously sentenced to prison in Egypt in the 1970s as well.

Abdel Rahman, who has a master’s degree, used to work in the Ministry of Endowments.

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