Middle East Eye: Egypt is hiding a former student activist and calls for investigation

Middle East Eye reported that the coup security forces forcibly abducted a former student activist from his home in Cairo last week, according to his lawyer, prompting calls from rights groups and his family for an investigation and to find out his whereabouts.

On May 11, authorities took Moaz al-Sharqawi from his residence in the Mokattam neighborhood of Cairo. His whereabouts are still unknown to his family and lawyers, who were unable to communicate with him, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, which represents al-Sharqawi legally.

The website quoted his lawyer as saying that he was not at the Mokattam police station or the local public prosecutor’s office.

On Wednesday, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights wrote to the Public Prosecutor’s Office accusing the Interior Ministry of forcibly disappearing him.

Several human rights groups signed a letter calling for the immediate release of al-Sharqawi, along with other political prisoners.

They wrote: “His abduction and disappearance represent a grave danger to his life and safety, and also indicates the absence of political will in Egypt to guarantee human rights for all.”

Among the signatories were the Sinai Foundation for Human Rights, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, and the Nadeem Center.

Al-Sharqawi had previously been imprisoned because of his role as a leader in the Tanta University Student Union.

He was arrested in September 2018 and subjected to enforced disappearance for a period of 25 days, during which he was subjected to torture, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.

The former student was held in pretrial detention for about a year and a half, before being released in 2020.

In May 2022, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison on charges of joining a terrorist group, in a case in which many other political detainees were also sentenced, including Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, the former presidential candidate.

The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said that the verdict against al-Sharqawi is “not final or enforceable,” and that the grievance sent by lawyers to the military ruler is still under consideration.

In August, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced Disappearances wrote a memorandum to the Sisi government raising al-Sharqawi’s case.

Al-Sisi’s government regularly uses accusations of supporting or financing “terrorism” to detain activists and opposition figures for as long as possible in pre-trial detention, and then sentence them.

It is estimated that at least 60,000 political prisoners have been imprisoned since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overturned President Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president, and seized power in 2013.


Source: بوابة الحرية والعدالة by fj-p.com.

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