A Cairo court may take up the case of an Egyptian blogger whose whereabouts and well-being have been unknown since state authorities arrested him Oct. 27.
In a statement released Monday, the Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights (EIPR), calls Reda Abdel-Rahman "the latest victim of systemic violations of freedom of belief and expression by [Egypt's] State Security Intelligence."
Abdel-Rahman moderates a blog called "Justice Liberty and Peace," which advocates a "Quranist" approach to Muslim law. According to the Virginia-based International Quranic Center (IQC), Quranists believe in "a modern, progressive interpretation of Islam that respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international legal conventions, rather than the fanatic interpretations of Islamic law that are increasingly gaining strength in the Muslim world."
That's not a popular approach with the Egyptian government, which the IQC says has arrested its followers in 1987, 2000 and 2007 and accused them of corrupting Islam. In addition to his writing, Abdel-Rahman is a social worker. According to the release, he was interrogated and forced to sign a pledge to stop his blogging and other religious writing. The IQC has labeled Abdel-Rahman's case "a forced disappearance."
Amid concerns Abdel-Rahman is being tortured, the IQC pledged to have those behind his arrest prosecuted for crimes against humanity.Last week, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said Abdel-Rahman's case would be reviewed by a Cairo court December 14.