Egyptian journalists are protesting the kidnapping and beating of a prominent opposition editor who has written articles critical of the government. Abdel Hamil Qandil has accused the Minister of Interior of being behind the attack.

The editor in chief of the opposition newspaper, Al Arabi, says he was abducted early Tuesday. He told VOA four men in suits forced him into a car and took him to the desert outside Cairo. He says they stripped and beat him, and then left him there.

Mr. Qandil says he brought a complaint against the Egyptian Minister of Interior, accusing him of being responsible for the attack. He says just a few days before the attack he had written an article accusing the ministry of carrying out mass arrests and committing civil rights violations in Sinai during investigations into the terrorist bombings last month in Taba. He says one of his attackers told him, "This is to teach you not to talk about important people".

The Prosecutor General has referred Mr. Qandil's complaint to the Ministry of Interior. An official at the ministry declined to comment, but says investigations are under way.

The Egyptian Journalists' Syndicate issued a statement expressing anger, horror and disgust at Qandil attack.

Mr. Qandil's newspaper, which is run by the opposition Nasserist party, is a frequent critic of the government and prominent business figures.