MEMBERS of Cairo's law centre for human rights, who were detained for two nights and three days last week for interrogation, have described their treatment by authorities.
The centre's lawyers have been providing legal assistance to anti-government demonstrators in Egypt.
The Washington Post reports that the detainees heard gunfire last Thursday morning outside the office. Soldiers and policemen soon after stormed the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre for Human Rights, taking laptops and computer hard drives. A soldier jumped on a chair and directed the search, the men said. Lawyers and volunteers at the centre were rounded up, their hands bound with plastic bands.
One lawyer, 47-year-old Mustapha Hassan Taha, said the group were accused as being responsible for the deaths of policemen during the protests. Those taken from the centre were lined up and forced to walk to two buses as men outside slapped thm int eh face. They were interrogated in windowless rooms, asked if they had foreign backers and when the demonstrations would stop. At night they were left outside, blindfolded.
They were questioned again the next day, but the tone was less aggressive, The Washington Post reports. On their second night they were given food, and blankets shared between three people.
Upon release on Saturday, the founder of the centre, Ahmed Seif Al-Islam, 60, went home to shower and then went to Tahrir Square to join the protests. "I wasted to send a message that we will not stop," he said.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reports that two police officers accused of the brutal killing of Khaled Said, the young man whose death sparked the current uprising, have escaped jail and are at large.
Lawyers told the newspaper that the escape occurred on 28 January, when police stations in Alexandria, Egypt, were attacked and set ablaze. The head of the two policemen's defence team said he believed the officers would turn themselves in.