Egyptian blogger expressing support for Gaza reportedly detained and beaten by police, according to Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
Egyptian police have beaten and detained a 22-year-old Egyptian blogger and activist who has expressed support for Gaza, an Egyptian human rights group said on Monday.
A statement from the Cairo-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said police officers on Friday beat Diaa Eddin Gad in front of his house in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya, put him in a police car and drove off.
Police gave no reason for the arrest, and have not yet disclosed where Gad is being held, according to the group.
An interior ministry spokesman did not return calls asking for confirmation of the detention.
Gamal Eid, director of the Network, described Gad as a member of the liberal Wafd party and the Kefaya (Enough) protest movement, and said he had attended protests against the recent 22-day Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip.
Gad's website Sawt Ghadib or "An Angry Voice," contains pro-Gaza slogans and news and commentary on the Israeli offensive, as well as strident denunciations of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and security services.
"Bloggers have become a major target of the police authorities in Egypt, and all these assaults are committed outside the law or under the cloak of the emergency state," the statement said.
Also on Friday, police detained Egyptian-German political activist and blogger on Gaza Strip issues Philip Rizk.
In a separate release, the Network said that Egyptian police had carried out a raid on Rizk's house early on Monday, searching it and demanding Rizk's father accompany them to his office, which the police said they wanted to search.
The release said police threatened to use force on Rizk's father, also a dual national, if he refused, but were dissuaded by the presence of a lawyer from the Network and an official from the German embassy.