- Middle East/North Africa
The son of Omar Abdel Rahman, a Jama’a al-Islamiya leader known as the “Blind Sheikh” who was convicted of terrorism charges in the US in 1995, threatened to organize a protest at the US Embassy in Cairo and detain the employees inside.
Abdallah Abdel Rahman’s threat came during a press conference organized by the sheikh’s family near the highly fortified American embassy compound on Thursday evening.
Abdel Rahman demanded that President Mohamed Morsy intervene for the release of his father as he did in the case of Egyptian journalist Shaimaa Adel who was detained for nearly two weeks for covering protests in Sudan then flown back to Egypt on a plane with Morsy.
He called for applying the “principle of reciprocity,” saying that every American detained in Egypt should be put in solitary confinement and refused visitors like Egyptian prisoners are in the US. He said that his father has been treated badly in US prison.
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman is “a wronged man whose case has been fabricated, and he should be retried because some witnesses retracted their statements, which they made because of pressure from the former regime,” said Aboud al-Zomor, a member of Jama’a al-Islamiya’s Shura Council who was in jail until the revolution for being involved in the assassination of former President Anwar Sadat.
Following the press conference, Abdel Rahman’s family distributed a statement to attendees that calls on Morsy to form a committee to visit the sheikh in prison, check his health and assign him legal counsel to file a lawsuit against the US Department of Justice over his long-term solitary confinement.