One journalist and a group of fourteen pro-Gaza activists were detained yesterday (Friday, February 6) by security forces in the Qalyubiya Governorate after having concluded a march in solidarity with the people of the besieged Gaza Strip.
These activists were taken for questioning and for the photocopying of their passports and IDs at Abu Zaabal Prison Camp. Although two lawyers from the (independent human rights NGO) Hisham Mubarak Legal Center arrived to assist these activists, State Security officers managed to take the march's organizer away for questioning, in the absence of these lawyers.
Yesterday night Philip Rizk, a German-Egyptian youth activist and film-maker in his mid-20s, was escorted out of the prison building through a back door and abducted in a police car with no license plates. His whereabouts are still not known. Philip had contacted the German embassy in Cairo regarding his detention, but the embassy reportedly informed him that they could not assist him.
The group of activists known as "To Gaza" started their march in the district of Shobra El Kheima carrying Palestinian flags, talking to locals about the siege and collective punishment imposed on Gaza, and asking passersby to join in their march. After having marched around the Governorate of Qalyubiya for some four hours the group decided to head back to Cairo. They had gotten into a microbus, and a taxi, when they were stopped at a checkpoint in the rural neighborhood of Sariaqos.
An increasing number of police forces were summoned to the checkpoint, including State Security officers. The activists (amongst which were Egyptians and foreign nationals) were detained by the side of the road for a few hours and then taken to Abu Zaabal Prison.
Philip's safety and wellbeing may be in jeopardy if he remains in the custody of State Security officers - who systematically abuse political detainees and prisoners. Petitions are being filed by lawyers, family members, friends and activists at the Banha Prosecution Office calling for an immediate investigation into this abduction, for the specification of the place of detention in which Philip is being held, and for the release of this human rights activist.
FREE GAZA! FREE PHILIP RIZK!
For more info check: