Egyptian Authorities Release Sociologist at American University in Cairo
The Chronicle of Higher Education, Monday, August 14, 2000
By HAIM WATZMAN
A sociologist at the American University in Cairo has been released by Egyptian authorities after more than five weeks in detention.
Saad Eddin Ibrahim was released Thursday on bail of about $3,000, as were four of his associates at the Ibn Khaldun Center, an institute that sponsors research on human rights and minority groups in the Arab world. Several other staff members -- reports differ as to exactly how many -- remain in detention.
No formal charges were filed against Mr. Ibrahim or the others. However, reports from Egypt earlier this week, confirmed by
Mr. Ibrahim upon his release, indicated that one of the charges being considered is espionage for the United States. Others include receiving money illegally from foreign sources, making a film critical of the Egyptian government, and forging election documents.
Mr. Ibrahim has in the past followed Egypt's elections and published reports critical of the way they are run. Many observers suggested that he had been detained in order to keep him from doing the same during the parliamentary elections scheduled for this fall.
While Amnesty International, the U.S. government, and scholars around the world called on Egypt to release Ibrahim, the scholar himself suggested in news reports that he did not think that those protests had influenced the Egyptian government.