The escalation of the police campaign in Egypt amounts to the abduction of well-known journalist and blogger Wael Abbas

Cairo 23 May, 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that the Egyptian authorities carry on with their police campaign to silence all critical voices and fabricate cases against them as a form of reprisals and to silence them. The latest episode of this vicious campaign was the kidnapping of well-known blogger and journalist Wael Abbas from his home at dawn today.

A heavily armed police force raided Wael Abbas’s family home at dawn today, without showing a warrant or announcing reasons, blindfolded Wael Abbas and took him in his sleeping clothes to an unknown location, after seizing computers, telephones, some books and several other items that belong to him.

As usual, the police forces totally disregarded the constitution and the law. First, when they blindfolded him, then by not showing an arrest warrant, preventing him from contacting ANHRI’s lawyers who have power of attorney from him, all the way to taking him to an unknown location.

ANHRI regrets that the circumstances of the abduction of Wael Abbas resemble those of the abduction of satirical blogger Shadi Abu Zaid a few days ago, therefore it is to be expected that yellow newspapers will be provided with material for defamation and libel to be published as a result of the absence of the rule of law in Egypt.

It is worth mentioning that Wael Abbas was the victim of several fabricated cases under the rule of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, to such an extent that he faced trial twice for a single case, ANHRI obtained an acquittal for him in both cases, but the hostility against Wael Abbas continued because of his opposition views, and his sharp and sarcastic criticism.

ANHRI, as the legal institution responsible for Wael’s defense, confirms that Wael’s kidnapping from his home refutes any fabrication of any action that might be attributed to him, since he was known as someone who has critical words and opposition views, which is a crime or a reason for reprisals against the one who holds them only in police states, an opinion is not a crime and criticism is not a violation.