At least 15 activists and lawyers were arrested this afternoon when Egyptian security forces stormed the Alexandria offices of the Center for Economic and Social Rights for the second time in six months, a move Amnesty International called a blow to the freedoms of association and assembly.
According to one of the detained lawyers, who was released after two hours, the security forces chased people down the stairs and into side streets, beating the activists with their hands and rifle butts as they took them into custody. Female activists were allegedly sexually harassed and cursed during the arrests. The security forces also confiscated equipment.
“This fresh raid on the Center for Economic and Social Rights is the next step in the escalating crackdown on critical voices in Egypt,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Program Director at Amnesty International.