Egyptian human rights groups condemn arrest of Albert Saber

Ahram Online, Wednesday 19 Sep 2012

Egyptian human rights groups accuse police of torturing activist who allegedly posted anti-Islam video on Facebook

U.S. embassy
File photo: Egyptian protesters climb the walls of the U.S. embassy with Arabic graffiti that reads "any one but you God's prophet" during a protest in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

Egyptian human rights organisations on Tuesday filed a legal case against the interior minister and a number of police officers regarding the arrest Albert Saber.

Saber, 25, was arrested on Thursday night and charged with insulting religion for allegedly posting the controversial anti-Islam short film, Innocence of Muslims, on his Facebook page.

The arrest was made without a warrant and Saber has been tortured since his arrest, the organisations claimed in a statement on Wednesday.

Saber, who is currently being detained for 15 days pending investigations, has denied all charges against him and began a hunger strike on Saturday.

"Detectives from Marg police station broke into [Saber's] house and searched it while no one was there. Furthermore, he was taken to an unnamed location and his family are not allowed to visit him," the statement said.

The complaint is filed by: the Freedom of Thought and Expression Institute, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information Centre, the Hisham Mubarak Legal Centre, the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights, the Nazra Foundation for Feminist Studies, the Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence.

The anti-Islam film allegedly post on Facebook by Saber has sparked controversy around the Muslim world. Protests against the film in Cairo left two dead and 250 injured.

On Tuesday, a Coptic Christian schoolteacher, Bishoy Kamel, was sentenced to six years in prison for posting cartoons on Facebook deemed defamatory to Islam and the Prophet Mohamed, and for insulting President Mohamed Morsi and his family.  

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