CAIRO Aug 31 2010 (Reuters) - An Egyptian man imprisoned last year for advocating Shi'a Islam and released last week under a court order was detained again a few days later, a human rights group said on Tuesday.
Mohamed Farouk was among 11 minority Shi'ites arrested in April and May 2009 for organising gatherings to spread "Shi'ite ideologies that insult Islam and the Sunni sect", the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) said in a statement.
A few days ago, Farouk was freed by a court that handles cases brought under an emergency law that gives police sweeping powers of arrest and detention. EIPR said he was arrested again on Monday by Interior Ministry officials, marking the sixth time he has been detained by the authorities.
A security source in the ministry told Reuters he was not aware of the case.
EIPR, which frequently reports cases of religious discrimination, said the Interior Ministry had arrested Farouk for being Shi'ite in Egypt's Sunni-dominated community.
"The Interior Ministry wantonly disregards court orders and considers itself above the law," EIPR's legal adviser Adel Ramadan said in a statement.
Egypt's constitution grants freedom of religion to all of its citizens, but rights campaigners say the country's Shi'ites face police harassment that seems motivated by contempt for their beliefs and suspicion of links with regional rival Iran.
Shi'ites make up less than 1 percent of Egypt's 78 million population.
The Al-Azhar Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Egypt's highest Islamic authority, says Muslims can adopt any faith but should not spread beliefs "among the people in order to confuse them regarding their moral values".
Those who stir sedition "will be accused of treason and condemned to death", it says.