British gov't calls on Egypt to clarify whereabouts of missing Briton

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LONDON: The British government on Thursday said it is "deeply concerned" about a British national who was last seen being removed from Tahrir Square in Cairo on January 31.

Hisham Morsi was last seen on January 31st when he, according to eyewitnesses, was arrested at Tahrir Square during anti-government protests. It was not clear who arrested him. "We had been given public and private assurances by the Egyptian Government that no activists remained in detention," Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Alistair Burt, said.

"In light of this, I call on the Egyptian authorities to urgently clarify whether Mr Morsi has been arrested, and if so, to inform our Embassy of his whereabouts and provide our Embassy with full and immediate consular access," Burt continued, adding that he had raised the case with the Egyptian Ambassador on Wednesday and the UK Embassy in Cairo.

"The Egyptian Government has committed itself to releasing all detained protestors, not to arrest anyone for expressing ideas and opinions and to stop arresting and harassing journalists, foreigners and members of the opposition. It is important that these commitments are implemented immediately," Burt added.

Egypt plunged into chaos late last month when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Cairo and other major cities to demand the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak. Some of them clashed with security forces, killing as many as 300 people and injuring thousands more.

(Copyright 2011 by BNO News B.V. All rights reserved. )

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