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Workers and Unions | ECESR Condemns Detention Renewal of Syndicalist for his Political Views on Facebook

The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights condemns Al-Nozha Prosecutor’s decision of detention renewal for 15 days against Mahmoud Rihan, member of the independent syndicate of Cairo International Airport.

The national security had detained Rihan on Monday, November 10, after he was arrested at work headquarters. He was investigated at the airport on his political affiliation and the opinions posted on his Facebook page. Al-Nozha Prosecutor remanded him in custody for 4 days on Tuesday, Nov. 11. He was charged with insulting the President of the Republic, and with allegedly disclosing secrets likely to damage national security on Facebook.

It is noteworthy that Rihan is the first syndicalist to be charged with such an accusation since July 3. The case itself is deemed a crackdown on the freedom of expression as part of the regime’s orientation to hunt down social networking pages and filing cases against their owners. Furthermore, it is part of the crackdown policy against whoever criticizes the regime in spite of the fact that their criticism is confined to the peaceful and legitimate means and away from what the regime so-called “war on terror.”

Rihan is well-known for his harsh criticism against the regime’s attack on labor liberties and rights, expressing his personal opinion without offending anyone. Needless to say, this is an inherent right to the freedom of thought, expression, and belief protected under the current 2014 Constitution.