Egyptian authorities have not disclosed the whereabouts of an Egyptian blogger and activist who campaigns against Egypt's Gaza policy and was reported to be detained earlier this month, Amnesty International said.
Diaa Eddin Gad, 22, was detained on February 6 outside his home in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya by security men who beat him as he screamed to his mother for help, Amnesty said in a statement seen by Reuters on Thursday,
He is believed to be held incommunicado in an unknown location, putting him at danger of torture, the London-based rights group said, adding that inquiries by his lawyers and family had failed to locate him.
Gad's blog Sawt Ghadib or An Angry Voice (http://soutgadeb.blogspot.com) contains pro-Gaza slogans, news and commentary on Gaza, as well as strident denunciations of Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak and security services.
Amnesty said that days before Gad was arrested, he had participated in a Gaza solidarity demonstration in Cairo. Police gave no reason for the arrest.
Egypt has been less tolerant of criticism of its Gaza policy since an Israeli offensive that ended on January 18 and which increased Egyptian public opposition to Cairo's participation in an Israeli-led blockade of the Hamas-run territory.
Authorities also detained a Egyptian-German activist who blogs on Gaza issues, Philip Rizk, this month but released him after several days following an international outcry. Authorities have also detained several activists for trying to enter Gaza illegally.
The Egyptian government is wary that public support for Gaza will boost the popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood, the strongest opposition group in the country, which has ideological and historical ties with Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
(Writing by Sarah A. Topol)