Seven international human rights organizations have sharply criticized the Egyptian authorities for extending the detention of leading activist, Saadeddin Ibrahim, reported the BBC.online.
Ibrahim, a professor of political sociology at the American University in Cairo, has been held in custody for more than two weeks.
Egyptian prosecutors remanded Ibrahim and his assistant Nadia Abdel-Nur on Thursday for another 15 days in jail, said the BBC.
They were arrested on June 30th, on charges of collaborating with foreigners to undermine Egypt's stability.
Ibrahim is also director of the Ibn Khaldoun Center for Development Studies, a think-tank which receives some foreign funding. It has now been closed and sealed off by police.
Egyptian security sources said Ibrahim was accused of having links with a foreign military agency and an Israeli diplomat.
However, the seven rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, said the charges against Ibrahim were so lacking in detail that they did not allow his defense to challenge the legality of the detention order, added the BBC.
In a joint statement, the groups said Egypt's "international obligations require it to respect the rights of detainees, which include to be informed promptly and in detail of the charges against them".
The American University in Cairo also condemned Ibrahim's arrest as a threat to academic freedom in Egypt, the BBC said.
Ibrahim was initially alleged to have received $220,000 from the European Commission without government permission, to produce a pro-democracy documentary on the election process in Egypt.
Eleven others at the Ibn Khaldoun Centre are reported to have been detained since Ibrahim's arrest.
The following organisations signed the joint statement:
* Amnesty International
* Article 19
* Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network
* Human Rights Watch
* International Federation of Human Rights
* Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights
* World Organization against Torture
Ibrahim has in the past made allegations of vote rigging, which the government strongly rejects.
On Thursday, prosecutors said he was questioned about his relationship with the Israeli Embassy. Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but their relations remain strained, said the BBC - Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )