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Egypt government releases Shiite activists who criticized torture

[JURIST] The Egyptian government has released [EIPR press release] two Shiite activists held in Egyptian custody since October who repeatedly criticized the systematic torture of prisoners in Egyptian custody. Mohammed al-Dereini and Ahmed Sobh are charged with “promoting extreme Shi’ite beliefs with the intent of causing contempt of the Islamic religion” and with “spreading false rumors and inciting propaganda that could promote terror amongst people." The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights [advocacy website] and the Hisham Mubarak Law Center Sundat urged asking the Egyptian Public Prosecutor to drop all charges against Dereini and Sobh, launch an investigation into their "arbitrary arrest and unlawful detention", and end the practice of detaining individuals who are exercising their right of freedom of belief and expression.

Human rights groups have recently expressed growing concern about the use of torture by Egyptian authorities. In April, Amnesty International released a report [text; JURIST report] criticizing Egypt for systematic human rights abuses of detainees in police stations, military camps and centers run by State Security Investigations. AFP has more.

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