Their crime? Supporting Christian-Muslim solidarity in the aftermath of religious violence. POMED (PDF) reports:
The group arrested in Egypt, which includes prominent Coptic Christian and Muslim activists and bloggers, had traveled to the town of Nag Hammadi in southern Egypt to express Christian-Muslim solidarity in the wake of recent violence against Coptic Christians in that town on January 6, the Eve of Coptic Christmas. Upon arrival in Nag Hammadi this morning, Egyptian security services detained at least twenty members of the group, who at this time remain in the custody of Egyptian authorities, despite repeated promises to release them at several points during the day. These arrests are the latest in a long series of arrests by the Egyptian government targeting private Egyptian citizens who express themselves politically.
The Obama administration has frequently highlighted the importance of freedom of expression. In October, the United States co-sponsored a resolution championing freedom of expression together with the Government of Egypt. President Obama, in his June 4th speech in Cairo, promised to promote free online dialogue, “so that a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.” Secretary Clinton told a group of civic activists in Morocco: “You have before you people who have paid a big price for standing up for democracy, for fighting against corruption, for asking that government actions be transparent and accountable. And I want to stand with them because the United States stands with them, and we want to be sure that we send a very clear message to the region and to individual leaders that it is in their interest to work with these men and women.”
A list of the bloggers, along with links to their websites, can be found on the POMED blog here.
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