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Startseite Urgent Actions 2018 10 Egyptian’s arbitrary detention renewed Arbitrary detention extended
FI 176/18-1
Egypt
Abgeschlossen am 1. Februar 2019

Arbitrary detention extended

AI-Index: MDE 12/9703/2019

On 8 January 2019, the Cairo Criminal Court renewed Islam Khalil’s detention for a further 45 days. Islam Khalil was a victim of an enforced disappearance and has been held in pre-trial detention on trumped-up charges since 10 March 2018. He is being denied access to necessary health care. The charges, of which Islam Khalil maintains his innocence, are believed to have been brought against him in retaliation for his political activism. The four other co-defendants who were facing the same charges denied knowing Islam Khalil and were released on probation in 4 September.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Islam Khalil was forcibly disappeared from 10 March until 1 April 2018. According to Islam Khalil’s family, they last knew about him on 10 March, when he was in Aswan. After losing contact with him, his family inquired with the Aswan police station to see if he was held there, but officers at the station denied his presence there. On 15 March, his family submitted a complaint to the public prosecutor about the incident but received no response. The family also inquired with the prosecution in Hurghada, south east of Cairo, and the Aswan prosecution. However, both denied the presence of Islam Khalil in their custody. His family only learnt about his whereabouts on 2 April, when the authorities acknowledged he was being detained at Tora Investigation prison.
According to his brother, the prison administration prevented him from receiving books and food, and denied him family visits for a month. At one point, he was moved to a cell infested with bugs and was being denied access to water and adequate food. He was then moved to another cell with detainees who forced him to pray and prevented him from smoking and reading certain books. According to his brother, Islam feels that he is facing this alone and that he needs people’s support. In a letter that he wrote in 15 August 2018, he says: «We are and will remain on the path of love, calling for justice, freedom and peace. To you, free birds that ignite with hope, sing in our names, and be the sun that protect us. Write about us and be our voice that was deliberately and forcibly silenced».
Islam Khalil has been previously tortured and ill-treated in detention, according to his own testimony and information received from his family and lawyer. On 24 May 2015, he was abducted from his home in al-Santa in Al Gharbiyah governorate in Egypt by National Security Agency (NSA) officers. He was subjected to an enforced disappearance, during which the authorities refused to acknowledge his deprivation of liberty and concealed his fate and whereabouts for 122 days. During this time, according to Islam Khalil, he was tortured by NSA officers in order to force him to «confess» to crimes he says he did not commit. He was released on 31 August 2016, 10 days after the prosecution ordered his release on bail. He was charged of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group; inciting violence; and attacking security forces.
Arbitrary detention is the practice of detaining people for no legitimate reason or without legal process. The Egyptian authorities launched a new, intensified crackdown on critics in December 2017, ahead of the presidential elections.

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