Shi'a Muslim Detainee Mohamed El-Derini Released after Fifteen Months in Administrative Detention

Press Release

29 June 2005

Mohamed El-Derini was released in the early hours of today's morning after fifteen months he spent in administrative detention on the basis of his belonging to the shi'a Muslim beliefs.

El-Derini's release came a few days after the announcement of an opinion issued by the United Nations' Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding a complaint submitted to the  working group by the Egyptian Intiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). The decision had found El-Derini's deprivation of liberty to be arbitraty and called on the Egyptian government to take steps to remedy the situation.

The EIPR had also obtained four final rulings by the Supreme State Security Emergency Court ordering the termination of El-Derini's detention under the Emergency Law, the last of which was issued last week on 19 June 2005.
Mohamed El-Derini was detained at his house on 22 March 2004 amidst a campagin that targeted a number of Egyptian Shi'a Muslims. El-Derini is the last to be released of the 11 detainees who were also incarcerated for varying periods without ever appearing before a proseuctor.

"The release of Mohamed El-Derini does not negate the fact that a citizen spent 15 months in detention without charge or trial; that an investigation has yet to be conducted in the allegations made by him and other fellow detainees about being subjected to torture while in custody at the State Security Intellignece offices; and that thousands of political detainees remain in prolonged detention under the emergency law in spite of court rulings ordering their release," said Hossam Bahgat, Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.