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UK: Demonstration outside the Egyptian Embassy, London

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Protest against the disappearance of anti-war camapigner Kemal Khalil. Dear Palestine rights supporter

The CPR meeting on Monday 24th February will now be postponed as a demonstration has been called outside the Egyptian embassy, details below in the press release.

We shall call another meeting soon, in the meantime pls try to inform as many people as possible about the demonstration at the Egyptian Embassy, 26 South Street, London W1, on Monday 24 February at 6pm - 7 p.m.

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EGYPTIAN ANTI-WAR ACTIVIST ABDUCTED IN CAIRO

On Wednesday 19 February Kemal Khalil disappeared near his home in Cairo. Khalil is one of the leaders of Egypt's anti-war movement and a founder of the International Campaign Against Aggression Against Iraq.

His colleagues feared that Khalil had been kidnapped by undercover
police. A day later it was clear that he had been seized by officers
of State Security Intelligence (SSI) and taken to Lazoghly security
headquarters where he is being held incommunicado. Lazogly is notorious
as Egypt's torture centre.

The detention of Kemal Khalil brings to 11 the number of anti-war activists being held without charge in Cairo.

Wa'el Khalil, a spokesman for the detainees said, "Kemal was kidnapped.
He was simply taken off the street - no charge, no formal arrest. No one was informed - not his family or friends. He was kidnapped. This is the way the SSI operate, taking who they like whenever they like and keeping them for as long as they like.”

Arrests began during an anti-war demonstration on January 18. Later, activists were seized from their homes and taken to Lazoghly. Most were tortured with electro-shock treatment and were repeatedly beaten. None were charged. Human Rights Watch has called on the Egyptian government to investigate the treatment of the detainees, to punish officials responsible for torture of ill-treatment, and to compensate the victims.

Lindsey German, Convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, said: "Tony Blair tells us that war against Iraq will be a war for democracy and freedom. Here is Egypt - the chief ally of the US and Britain in the Arab world - seizing and torturing people who speak out against war.

"Will Blair denounce these arrests? Will he take action to free these
political prisoners? Can he show us that his morality is superior
to that of dictators like Egypt's Mubarak?”

Under a law of 1958 the Egyptian government can suspend civil liberties
by declaring a state of emergency. Such a state of emergency has
been in force almost continuously since 1967. Amnesty International
has condemned the practice of "administrative detention” under which
prisoners may be seized without charge and held for years without
trial.

One prisoner has been released. Ibrahim al-Sahary was freed after being held in solitary confinement at Tura Prison and being beaten and interrogated at the Lazoghly centre.

Most of the anti-war activists are being incommunicado at two prisons.
Tamer Hindawi, Samir al-Fuli, Mohamed Khalil Ghattas, Mohamed Dakhly,
Abdel-Gawad Ahmed Mustafa and Sabry al-Sammak are held at Tura Prison
south of Cairo. Magdi al-Kordi, Nasser Saad, Tariq Ahmed Ibrahim
and Mustafa Mohamed Fawzi are being held at Al-Darb al-Ahmar Prison
in the east of the city.

Amnesty International has described conditions in Egypt's prisons as amounting to "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment”. Lack of hygiene and medical care mean that many prisoners suffer from tuberculosis, skin diseases and paralysis. Several prisoners have died as a result of illnesses which received no or little treatment.

The Stop the War Coalition has called for the immediate release of the prisoners. It has organised a protest at the Egyptian Embassy, South Street, London W1, on Monday 24 February at 6pm.

* More information from Stop the War Coalition: 020 7053 2155/6 *
www.stopwar.org.uk * office@stopwar.org.uk



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