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Egypt arrests a mother who enquired after her detained son

Mohamed Helmi Hamdoun, an Egyptian lawyer
Mohamed Helmi Hamdoun, an Egyptian lawyer and member of the Dostour Party [Assem Elbaradei/Twitter]

After a lawyer, his wife and his brother were arrested from a café in Damanhour, a city in Lower Egypt, his mother and two sisters were also arrested after enquiring about his whereabouts.

According to a Facebook post written by Major General Helmi Hamdoun, which has now been removed, his son and lawyer Mohamed Helmi Hamdoun was with his wife Asmaa Daabes and brother Ahmed in a café in Damanhour when security forces stormed the café and arrested all three of them.

When Mohamed’s mother went to the police station to enquire about where her son was being held, police arrested her. An hour later his two sisters Fatima and Zeinab went to ask where their mother was and police arrested them also.

Helmi wrote: “I am at my house in Damanhour, waiting for rabid dogs to come.”

Mohamed is a member of the Dostour Party, which is part of a coalition of left-wing parties that called for the “Stay at Home” campaign, a boycott of the March elections in which President Abdel Fattah Al- Sisi ran against only one candidate who backed the general himself.

The Sisi regime has carried out a series of arrests against members of the party. Earlier this year party member Gamal Fadel was arrested from his house in Aswan, Helal Al-Masry was arrested from his house in Cairo and the party’s media officer Ramadan Mohamed was arrested in front of the party headquarters in Cairo.

Former party leader and journalist Khaled Dawoud was arrested on 25 September after he called for investigations into Mohamed Ali’s corruption claims that sparked the September protests.

READ: Egypt lawyer Amr Iman arrested at home

Mohamed Hamdoun is a member of the defence committee of the 20 September protests. The Egyptian government has responded to the demonstrations with the most severe crackdown under Sisi’s rule, arresting over 2,300 people, including at least 111 children, over 12 days.

Besides journalists, activists and former detainees, lawyers have been one of the targets of this sweep. Earlier this week lawyer Amr Iman was arrested from his house after declaring he would start a hunger strike in solidarity with detained and tortured activists Alaa Abdul Fattah and Israa Abdelfattah.

Amr witnessed Alaa’s arrest: “This is a blatant violation against lawyers… lawyers are immune while working, just like judges and prosecutors. As a lawyer, I am afraid about getting arrested right now,” he said.

Mohamed Al-Baqer, Alaa’s lawyer, was arrested at the State Security Prosecution after he attended his client’s investigation session and award-winning human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry was arrested outside the state security prosecutor’s headquarters after representing detainees arrested during the demonstrations.

The Sisi regime has long targeted lawyers – researcher for the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, the human rights lawyer Ibrahim Ezz Al-Din has been forcibly arrested since 11 June this year.

READ: Egyptians accuse Sisi of murdering residents of Sinai

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