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German-Egyptian blogger is released after 5 Days of Mental Abuse

Categories: Egypt, Advocacy, Legal Threats

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Egyptian authorities released the German-Egyptian blogger Philippe Rizk [1], on Wednesday after being held [2] blind-fold for five days [3] in an unknown place and subjected to all kinds of mental abuse.

In an interview with The Arabic Network for Human Rights (ANHRI) Rizk described what he went through [4]:

I was repeatedly questioned about everything and I was terrified. Although I was not abused physically, I was blind-folded all the time. Officers kept saying to me, and I was threatened with long term imprisonment. They asked me if I supported Hamas, was working for Israel, and, being Christian, if I was an evangelist. I was never informed of any charges against me

The young blogger launched a webpage exclusively on Gaza [1] before his detention, and he was preparing a documentary on the protests in Egypt against the Israeli war.

The police had carried out a raid [2] on Rizk's house last Monday, searching it and demanding Rizk's father accompany them to his office. Plus confiscating three digital cameras, one video camera, a mobile phone, an IPod, thirty CDs and DVDs, a number of books and reference papers, personal documents, sixty camera films, a laptop case, a large travel bag, three hard drives and a handbag containing personal effects, according to Rizk.

ANHRI [4] also said that seizure of email passwords means that they are out of Philip's control and that therefore any message purportedly published by him, may not necessarily be genuine.

Egyptian blogsphere was relieved to hear the release of Philippe, the story was circulated through Facebook and jaiku messages [5]. A night before he get out of detention, tens of activists and bloggers staged a protest seeking freedom for him, also created a blog for the same goal [6] and his colleagues are circulating updates [7] on his arrest.