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Families of men in Egyptian prison rally in Gaza

July 30, 2009 5:50 P.M. (Updated: July 31, 2009 12:46 P.M.)
Gaza – Ma’an – Families of five men detained in Egypt have continued an appeal following a Hamas-organized summer camp staged a sit-in Wednesday demanding the return of a Gaza man from detention.

“Egyptian authorities arrested five residents of Gaza on 12 September 2004 and charged them with affiliation to an extremist group outside the country,” said their spokesman Abu Murad Al-Qoqa, “they were officially released on 15 January 2005 according to a court decision, but state security rejected thr decision under the pretext that martial law applied in their case.”

“The news reports we’ve heard say our children are treated harshly and sometimes we hear rumors they have died in Egyptian detention,” one mother said. The assembled families appealed to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to free their sons.

The detainees were identified as Ayman Noufal, Mu’tasam Al-Qoqa, Abdallah Abu Raya and Nedal Hamada.

The day before, Hamas youth rallied at Rafah for the release of Ayman Nofal, a Hamas activist involved in toppling the Egyptian border wall in the winter of 2007 during the thick of the Israeli siege. Explosives ripped a gaping hole in the Egyptian border wall, which was left open for a week, allowing Gazans to travel into Rafah for supplies including flour, cooking gas and cigarettes.

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