Egypt: Wael Abbas, Arrested by Army, then Released

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

Prominent Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas, who has been instrumental in uncovering police torture and brutality, was held for about an hour today – raising the concern of netizens around the world. Among those held yesterday were blogger Sandmonkey, who was on his way to deliver medical aid to Tahrir Square.

Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas. Image by Hossam el-Hamalawy (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Egyptian blogger Wael Abbas. Image by Hossam el-Hamalawy (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

His tweet “arrested by the army” was quickly picked by people left, right, and centre, throwing friends on the ground in a frenzy.

Abbas has since been released, but is flustered that he is being stopped “at every single checkpoint,” because he and his friends are suspected of being foreigners. The Egyptian regime has upped its warfare against journalists, with a concentrated crackdown yesterday on political and human rights activists, and the international press, to leave protesters without a leadership on the one hand and muzzle the Press, on the other. Like all its plots so far, this plan has fired back too, and the mood was jubilant today as millions rallied all day calling for Mubarak to leave.

Like many digital activists, Abbas continued to live stream today's protests on bambuser. His videos can be found here.

Here some of the reactions on Twitter, after Abbas was reported arrested:

@OuiamY: Youth protest leader Wael Abbas and Michael Nabil arrested. Is this the freedom that Mubaraks regime promised? #jan25 #tahrir

@RamyYaacoub: Breaking News: It seems that blogger Wael Abbas (@waelabbas) has been arrested by the army #Egypt #Jan25

@ahmed: Wael Abbas (@waelabbas) just tweeted that he was arrested by the army! #Egypt #Jan25

As the clock ticked, more tweets continued to pour:

@ghazamfar: #Egypt: Arrested Blogger Wael Abbas OK — 5 Others With him — May Be In Military Police Custody #Jan25

And then came good news:

@weddady: Can someone confirm please that he is free? RT @aonahrawy: @waelabbas just released now from custody @monaeltahawy @3arabawy @ShawkattRaghib

Questions were also asked on promises made against attacks on journalists and protesters:

@bencnn: #Egypt press ctr denies official policy targetting journalists. “Acts of violence against journalists unacceptable, media always welcome”

@Indiffirent: Then where's Wael Ghonim & Y Was Wael Abbas arrested RT@AlArabiya_Eng Egypt's PM: the government vows not to crackdown of protesters #Jan25

Meanwhile, the hunt continues for Google executive Wael Ghonim, who has been missing since January 25.

@monasosh: Search for @Ghonim continues, if you have ANY info email or call +44 20 7031 3008. Let's get our friend back #Jan25

And @ircpresident shares a list containing the names of people arrested since the protests started on January 25:

أسماء المعتقلين بعد 25 يناير منها @om_elhol @nadeen_aboshady @waelabbas @Ghonim #Jan25
This is the list for those arrested after January 25

Photo credit: Hossam ElHamalawy

This post is part of our special coverage of Egypt Protests 2011.

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