A number of professional syndicates are calling on Egyptian authorities to investigate why syndicate members–including doctors, engineeers, and journalists–have been detained in the United Arab Emirates.
Relatives of Ahmed Gaafar, a journalist who runs a private media center in Dubai, said he disappeared two weeks ago while on his way home from work in Dubai. His family said that all of his personal belongings disappeared. Dubai police revelated that they had detained Gaafar six days ago. The family then called on the Journalists Syndicate and the Arab Journalists’ Union to intervene and demand information about the reasons for his detention.
Karem Mahmoud, the sydicate’s secretary, said the board received a complaint from the family on Saturday and that the syndicate contacted the foreign ministry regarding the circumstances of his detention.
Professional syndicates of doctors and physical therapists are likewise calling on the presidency and the foreign ministry to intervene in order to determine why three Egyptian doctors were detained by Emirati authorities. It also called on the physical therapists association in the UAE to form a fact-finding committee to investigate detentions by what they called an "unknown authority" and to investigate why detainees' families have been prevented from traveling home from the UAE without legal justification.
The Doctors’ Syndicate Freedom Committee said that three detainees were getting ready to return home to Egypt along with their families when their houses were attacked and their personal computers were seized. The committee threatened to stage protests outside the Emirati embassy in Cairo, saying there are “other steps for escalation if the detainees are not released and their families allowed to return back to their homeland.”
Meanwhile, the Engineers Syndicate’s branch in Daqahliya said Emirati authorities had arrested two members in the Dubai airport. They were taken to an unknown location 20 days ago. One of the detainees’ wives said her husband had decided to close the contracting company he owns in Dubai and that he was planning his return to Egypt when he was arrested.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-YoumTags: Arab Journalists Union, Foreign Ministry, Ahmed Gaafar, Syndicate Freedom Committee, United Arab Emirates