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Report on the Case of Dr. Saad Eddin Mohamed Ibrahim Imprisoned Sociologist Cairo, Egypt
necessary litigation. I have no regrets. I'm paying a price for what I believed and stood for. I think Egypt deserved better and that's what I stood for and what I am committed to”
On Friday, May 25, 2001, having received permission “as an exceptional favor” from the attorney general, several members of Dr. Ibrahim's family visited him in prison on Friday, May 25, 2001. (It appears that none of the other 27 individuals sentenced, including those whose sentences were suspended, have been in contact with their families since the verdicts were handed down ten days earlier.) Dr. Ibrahim 's family reported that he is being properly treated but they are worried about his health. He is suffering from a deteriorating nervous system disorder, as yet undiagnosed, which is affecting his balance, walking, and use of his left hand, with progressive numbness in his right (writing) hand. The director of the Tora Mazraa Prison reportedly has given his assurances that Dr. Ibrahim will continue to be given his medications and monitored by prison doctors. The family also reported that, in response to Dr. Ibrahim's complaint about the lack of adequate exercise, they have been told that the situation will be remedied. The family has requested that a committee made up of neurological specialists review Dr. Ibrahim's private physician's findings and make urgent arrangements for follow-up care.
The Committee's Work on the Case
In the course of its work the Committee on Human Rights (CHR) learned in late June 2000 of the detention of Dr. Ibrahim. (For a description of the CHR and a list of its members, see Appendix B.) It carefully investigated the case, using a number of reliable sources, and concluded that Dr. Ibrahim was most likely detained for having nonviolently exercised his rights as promulgated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Specifically, it appeared that Dr. Ibrahim was being detained for having exercised his right to freedom of opinion and information under Article 19 and for having promoted the right to participate in government and in free elections among Egyptian citizens under Article 21. Additionally, in the course of his detention and subsequent hearings, serious questions arose as to whether Dr. Ibrahim's right to freedom from arbitrary arrest under Article 9, his right to a fair public hearing under Article 10, and his right to be considered innocent until proven guilty under Article 11 were being accorded to him by the Egyptian authorities.
The CHR informed more than 1,700 members of the NAS, NAE, and IOM, who serve as its correspondents, as well as the institutions in 50-some countries which are affiliated with the International Human Rights Network of Academies and Scholarly Societies (Network), of the facts of the case and its concerns. It urged that they intervene vis-à -vis the Egyptian authorities to make them aware of the widespread knowledge and alarm among the members of the international scientific community about Dr. Ibrahim's