Rights groups demand investigation into alleged assault against journalists

By Compiled by Daily New Egypt
First Published: June 27, 2008

CAIRO: Three human rights organizations demanded an official police investigation into the alleged assault of Kamal Murad, a journalist at the opposition newspaper Al-Fajr.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), the Arab Council for the Support of a Fair Trial and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center submitted a petition to the deputy minister of interior affairs on June 21, calling for an inquest into Murad’s alleged torture by police officers, according to a press release by ANHRI.

Three police officers in Beheira physically and verbally abused Murad, said the statement, and confiscated his notes and mobile phone memory card.

He was then arrested on charges of attacking police officers and inciting peasants against the security forces, said the ANHRI.

The incident reportedly follows Murad’s exposure of an influence-peddling case involving a local trader and his two sons who are police officers.

In his investigation, Murad has interviewed peasants in Ezbat Moharram in Beheira and shot pictures of police officers beating peasants in order to force them to sign lease contracts with a landlord, the rights group said.

The officers were allegedly doing this as a favor to their fellow policeman whose father happens to be the landlord.