Egyptian Engineer Ashraf Ibrahim Acquitted on All Charges
March 16, 2004
On March 11, 2004, Egyptian engineer Ashraf Ibrahim was acquitted of all charges by the (Emergency) Supreme State Security Court and released from prison. Mr. Ibrahim had been in detention since April 19, 2003. Reliable reports indicate that his arrest was prompted by his participation in a March 2003 demonstration in Cairo against the war in Iraq during which he videotaped the beating by police and mass arrests of peaceful demonstrators. After a lengthy period in solitary confinement without charge or trial, Mr. Ibrahim was charged on August 7, 2003, in connection with alleged activities relating to an illegal organization and with harming Egypt’s reputation by spreading abroad false information regarding the internal affairs of the country. With regard to the second charge, the indictment made specific reference to providing information on alleged human rights violations to international human rights organizations. Had he been found guilty, he would have faced a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Amnesty International considered Mr. Ibrahim to be a prisoner of conscience.