The international solidarity March, leaving Cairo today, 10th of December, heading for Rafah to express solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people, has been stopped at the gates of the North Sinai governorate, some 170 km to the south of Arish.
Central Security Forces, under the command of Colonel Essam Amer, SSI chief of North Sinai, are currently blocking the highway to arish preventing 5 coaches from proceeding to Arish. At the same time organizers of the march learned that Ashraf Ayoub, Ashraf Gouaidar, Ashraf Hofni, Mhamed Khatabiu, Alaa El Kashef and Aytman Roufeili, founders of the Committee for Citizens` rights in the North of Sinai have been arrested an hour ago by SSI police and are, at the time of writing this release, held at the SSI headquarters of Arish, where hundreds of Arish citizens have been subject to the most brutal forms of torture for the past two months.
Participants in the solidarity march are Egyptian antiwar and human rights activists and members of the press, joined by 35 international antiwar activist among whom are 19 from France, 6 from the UK, 2 from Spain, 4 from Greece, one from Turkey and one from Austria.We call upon you to urgently send letters of protest to Egyptian officials demanding the immediate release of the activists who have played a crucial role in exposing the crimes of torture taking place in Arish and who have provided an urgently needed help to torture survivors.
The international solidarity March planning to head for Rafah today was organized in agreement with the resolutions of the antiwar conference organized Sept. 17-19 at Le Bristol Hotel in Beirut.