The family 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, has prepared a memorandum calling for President Mohamed Morsy to work toward his release.
The memo calls on Morsy to exert diplomatic pressure so that Abdel Rahman may return with the president on his plane after he finishes his visit the US in September.
Abdel Rahman’s family holds Morsy responsible for any delays in the sheikh’s release or harm that may come to him.
The family also faults Morsy for not bringing up Abdel Rahman’s detention during his meeting with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. Clinton said Morsy did not discuss the issue with her.
“Abdel Rahman is not inferior in status to Egyptian citizen and reporter Shaimaa Adel who received the care of the presidency,” the memo reads.
Adel, who was detained in Sudan while covering news about the uprising there, was recently released and returned from Ethiopia with Morsy on the same plane on Monday.
“The president sympathizes with the case…but we hope to see that translate into a result on the ground. Morsy knows that Abdel Rahman was oppressed a lot and he values Al-Azhar scholars,” the memo states.
Abdel Rahman’s family claims that he cannot stay in detention for much longer because he suffers from serious disease and he has been mistreated.
The memo adds that the family has not contacted Abdel Rahman since Morsy pledged to work for his release during his speech in Tahrir Square the day before his swearing-in ceremony.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm