To the Editors:
Early in the morning of August 16th sixty-three Egyptian “leftists” were arrested by security police. They have been held since that time without any formal charges although vague and contradictory references to differing with the policy of the Sadat government have been made.
Persistent efforts to secure information from the Egyptian officials in this country have been futile. In Egypt the Supreme Security Council (this is a security matter not treated through ordinary courts and judicial channels) has requested that President Sadat release some of those arrested pending the filing of formal charges; yet Sadat over American TV denied this was his responsibility even though his “emergency legislation” has made him the sole arbiter of security matters.
Those arrested include most of the Egyptian Board for Amnesty International. One who might have been arrested. Chehata Haroun, has become a fugitive fearing for his treatment at the hands of security. Mr. Haroun is a progressive attorney who is a Jew and has frequently visited America where he has spoken of the need for a swift, mutual settlement of the Middle East conflict.
Those concerned should write to Ashraf Ghorbal, Egyptian Ambassador to the United States, requesting the release of all those arrested, and on behalf of Chehata Haroun.
Middle East Peace Project
New York City
December 20, 1979