The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Suzanne Trimel, 917-815-5964,

Amnesty International Demands Whereabouts of Google Executive Arrested in Cairo

Warns of Risk of Torture by Security Forces


Amnesty International demanded today that Egyptian authorities immediately disclose the whereabouts of a Google employee reportedly arrested in Cairo during mass protests. The human rights organization is concerned that Wael Ghuneim, a marketing executive, faces a serious risk of torture by Egyptian security forces.

Ghuneim was arrested by Egyptian security forces on January 28 during protests in Cairo, eyewitnesses said. His whereabouts remain unknown.

"The Egyptian authorities must immediately disclose where Wael Ghuneim is and release him or charge him with a recognizable criminal offense," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, deputy director of the Middle and North Africa program at Amnesty International.

"He must be given access to a doctor and a lawyer of his choice and not be subjected to torture or other ill-treatment. His case is just one of many that highlight the continued crackdown by the Egyptian authorities on those exercising their right to protest peacefully."

Ghuneim, who is Google's head of marketing for the Middle East and North Africa, travelled to Egypt from Dubai, where he lives, on about January 23 for a business trip.

On January 25, he attended demonstrations in Cairo, including a large protest in Tahrir Square. He was due to meet his brother for another large demonstration on Friday, January 28 but did not arrive to meet him.

His relatives became concerned when they discovered his phones had been disconnected.

Eyewitnesses later told Ghuneim's family that they had seen him being arrested during demonstrations near Mustafa Mohamed Street in Cairo.

Amnesty International would consider Ghuneim to be a prisoner of conscience if he was detained merely for exercising his right to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.

Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people - no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world's largest grassroots human rights organization.

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