Sudanese student 'forced to confess' spying on Egypt protests
The family of 22-year-old Waleed Abdulrahman Hassan Suleiman, who came to Cairo to study German, denied the allegations that Waleed took part in any of the recent anti-government protests or had any links to the Islamist organisation.
They added that he feared the Egyptian security service had tortured his son in order to extract the confession.
Egyptian broadcaster Amr Adeeb, widely regarded as a regime mouthpiece, has been airing so-called "confessions" of foreigners detained following the "Palacegate" protests that broke out on Friday and Saturday.
Adeeb accused Waleed of being a spy belonging to a foreign cell of the Musli Brotherhood, who took part in and filmed the protests.
Mohieddin Abu al-Zaki, Waleed’s uncle, told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that his nephew travelled to Egypt on August 28 to study German in the British Council in Al Manial, Cairo. Waleed had already paid his fees to the school indicating he had begun studying, Abu al-Zaki pointed out.
Abu al-Zaki called the allegations his nephew was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood “absurd” and called on the Sudanese government to intervene in order to return Waleed safely back home.
Sudanese activists have threatened to protest in front of the Egyptian embassy in Khartoum over what they call the unjust detention of Waleed.
The hashtag #Save_Waled in Arabic and English began trending on Thursday, with many pointing out how Waleed had taken part in Sudan’s protests against the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated government, claiming it proved he couldn’t be an Islamist spy.
The Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), a key player in the protest movement that took down the previous government, released a statement on Thursday calling for Waleed’s release.
“We are following the events following what is happening to Sudanese citizen Waleed Abdulrahman Hassan Suleiman through the video circulated by the Egyptian media in a disgraceful, immoral and unprofessional way,” the association said on Twitter.
The group called for Sudan’s Foreign Ministry to intervene urgently in order to ensure Waleed was not being subjected to torture and had a lawyer to help him with the investigation.
Rare protests broke out in Egypt on Friday and Saturday after army contracter-turned-YouTube provocateur Mohamed Ali released a string of videos accusing the regime of Abdul Fattah al-Sisi of rampant corruption.
Ali has called for a "million man march" on Friday, however the unrest has been met with a sweeping crackdown with at least 1900 people arrested.