Prominent Egyptian human rights activist briefly detained in Lebanon

Lebanese authorities briefly detained a prominent Egyptian blogger and human rights activist

BEIRUT — Lebanese authorities briefly arrested a prominent Egyptian blogger and human rights activist on Wednesday, his lawyer and sister said, but the reason for his arrest was not immediately clear.

The first word on the arrest of Abdul-Rahman Tarek, also known by his nickname Moka, came from his sister, Sara Tarek. She posted on her Facebook page that her brother was stopped by plainclothes police on Wednesday afternoon from his apartment. She called for his release saying he had spent seven years in prison in Egypt until his release last year.

Tarek was taken to police intelligence headquarters in Beirut where he spent around five hours and was later released, his lawyer, Farouk Moghrabi. The reason for the arrest was not immediately clear, Moghrabi said.

Sara Tarek later wrote that her brother had been released and was at home.

Security officials did not immediately confirm Tarek’s arrest and subsequent release.

Mary Lawlor, the UN’s independent expert on human rights defenders, tweeted: “I hear extremely disturbing news” that an exiled Egyptian human rights defender in Lebanon has been arrested today “without a warrant”. She tagged the Lebanese Foreign Ministry in her tweet.

A group of Lebanese activists had planned to hold a protest outside police headquarters to demand Tarek’s release, but it was called off after his release.


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