Egyptian Intellectuals Press for Release of Political Prisoners
|Monday, March 6,2006 00:00|
In an unprecedented initiative, 79 of the Egyptian intellectuals, authors, and journalists signed a statement that presses the government for the release of all political and Islamist prisoners and the stop of detentions. "The National Initiative for the Release of Detainees in Egyptian Prisoners" is the title.
The statement, Ikhwan Web obtained, asserted that reform is meaningless unless an immediate release of political detainees takes place. The statement, in addition, called for a termination of the emergency state and an end of human right violation.
Noticeably, the signatory elite belong to all political trends, among them Islamists, liberalists, leftists, intellectuals, Copts, judges, writers, journalists, and academic professors. For example, the ex-vice president of the State Council Tarq el-Beshry, , the chief of journalists Galal Aref, the Islamic intellectual Muhammad Omarah, the well-known columnist Fahmy Hewada, the Coordinator of Kefiya Movement George Ishaq, Abdel Wahab el-Mesery, the Chief-in-editor of el-Araby newspaper Abdullah el-Sanowy, the agent of el-Wasat Party’s founders Abu el-Ala Mady, the Chief-in-editor of al-Karama newspaper Abdel Halem Kandel, the Islamic writer Gamal Soltan, the prominent member of al-Nassary Party Gamal Hafez, the professor of French Literature Zeinab Abdel Aziz, the leftist Abdel Gafar Shokr, the Chief-in-editor of the Arab Human Development Report Nader el-Fergany, the professor Hassan Nafah, the prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood Essam el-Arian and Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, and the author Hassan Hanfy, are among the signatories.
The statement said signatories "call on the Egyptian regime to crucially step in to bring the tragedy of thousands of political and Islamist prisoners to an end via an immediate release and to stop the shameful and repeated detention that has caused long-standing suffering for thousands of Muslim young men and their families. Any talk about political reform is meaningless unless immediate release of political prisoners, whether served their terms or were not initially tried, takes place."
The statement called on "the Egyptian government to terminate instantaneously the state of emergency, to prevent violation of human rights, and to secure the protection of all citizens and their right of engaging in peaceful political action."
Moreover, the statement demanded "a response to the powers of society which are looking forward to end a painful stage that has lasted for more than 25 years of oppression via launching an initiative of reform and justice that wins back the dignity of those detainees, in respect of judiciary rulings and the sovereignty of law."
The statement presses the government "to open a new page with all powers in the time when unified efforts are required to resist threats that face Egypt."
The statement said Kamal Habeeb is elected as the coordinator of the "a national initiative." Therefore, it seems that the initiative will turn into a movement that presses the government to meet its demands.