Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) posted a picture Tuesday on Twitter after hosting a meeting to discuss “Hoda Abdelmonem, a political prisoner in Egypt.”
“I hope that Trump brings up her case in his meeting with the regime that has imprisoned her. We must work to #FreeHoda,” Omar said.
I recently met with @jkbadawy and @thefreedomi to talk about Hoda Abdelmonem, a political prisoner in Egypt. I hope that Trump brings up her case in his meeting with the regime that has imprisoned her. We must work to #FreeHoda. pic.twitter.com/3KMPNd4Kfb
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) April 2, 2019
Abdelmonem, however, has been identified in numerous reports as a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. She was arrested in November along with Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater on allegations of membership in a terrorist organization, according to Reuters.
Reuters identified Abdelmonem as a “60-year-old lawyer and Brotherhood member.” After her arrest, her family met with her at a state security prosecution office and said in a statement that they were “shocked to find that Hoda, a 60-year-old mother and grandmother, was in a dire health condition with clear signs of weight loss, psychological trauma, severe signs of instability and shock.”
One of those family members, Abdelmonem’s daughter, met with Omar at her Washington, D.C. office.
“Thank you Ilhan for meeting us and helping shed light on my mother’s unjust imprisonment,” said Abdelmonem’s daughter, who identifies as “Jihad Khaled” on Twitter. “Today marks 153 days since she’s been taken away from us.”
Thank you @Ilhan for meeting us and helping shed light on my mother’s unjust imprisonment.
Today marks 153 days since she’s been taken away from us.
Thanks @thefreedomi for taking over all political prisoners cases.#freeHoda https://t.co/S70dGckDxK
— Jihad Khaled (@Jkbadawy) April 2, 2019
Abdelmonem was also featured in a 2014 article for The Guardian, which described Abdelmonem as a “senior Muslim Sister” who discussed how “women have long been active in the Brotherhood.”
“We always had a role—before, during and after the recent events,” she said in that article. “It’s not true that women’s opinions are only considered because the men are absent. It was always like this.”
The Muslim Brotherhood is listed as a terrorist organization in numerous countries, including Russia, Egypt (where Abdelmonem was arrested), the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain. According to Conservative Review, congressional Republicans have been urging President Donald Trump to classify the Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.
Supporters of Abdelmonem maintain that she’s a human rights activist because of her membership in the Egyptian government’s National Human Rights Council. Al Jazeera, the Qatari government’s media arm, produced a video featuring one of Abdelmonem’s daughters and advocated for her release from prison.
This human rights lawyer has been detained in Egypt for nearly 3 months. Her family is appealing for her release. pic.twitter.com/JnaU3Nz1cM
— AJ+ (@ajplus) February 13, 2019
Mohamed Soltan of The Freedom Initiative, which “aims to advocate on the behalf of prisoners of conscience in the Middle East,” described reports such as this one as “Trump trolls … ripping into Ilhan Omar in support of an unjustly detained 60-year-old female human rights defender.”
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Ilhan Omar.