Qur'ani Blogger Released After 3 Months of Detention for Religious Views

Press Release

25 January 2009

Egypt's Ministry of Interior released Qur'ani blogger Reda Abdel-Rahman on 22 January after he spent 88 days in Emergency Law detention on the grounds of his religious beliefs, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said today.

The EIPR called on the Public Prosecutor to drop the charge of "contempt of Islam" against the blogger and to investigate those responsible for his arrest and detention. The organization also urged an end to the practice of detaining individuals for their religious views by the Ministry of Interior's State Security Investigations (SSI) Service.  

The Supreme State Security Emergency Court had issued a final decision on 6 January ordering an end to Abdel-Rahman's detention, upholding a similar decision issued on 14 December 2008 by the same court. On 8 January the blogger appeared before the State Security Prosecution Office which also ordered his release. However, he remained in unlawful detention for 14 days at the SSI headquarters in Zagazig, Sharqiya before his release.  

Abdel-Rahman was detained from his house in Sharqiya on 27 October 2008 for his Qur'ani beliefs and writings on his blog, entitled "Justice Freedom Peace".  During his administrative detention, the bogger was also interrogated by the State Security Prosecution Office, who charged him with the "contempt of Islam" after questioning him on his views regarding religious matters, such as the validity of some of the Prophet's legacy and the way he performed prayers.