Coinciding with the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the undersigned independent human rights organizations condemn the Egyptian government’s systematic practice of torture against prisoners in the country.
Files: Policing and human rights
The continued detention of Islam Orabi despite obtaining a decision to release him and having paid his bail constitutes a crime of unlawful detention, and is punishable under Article 280 of the Penal Code which states: “Any person who arrests, jails or detains a person without order by the relevant authorities and in other than the cases in which laws and regulations authorize the arrest of suspects, he shall be punished with detention or a fine not exceeding two hundred pounds”. Orabi’s disappearance from the police department increases fears about his safety and the possibility of deterioration of his health, which may constitute a danger to his life.
The recent developments also come as a direct response to our activities in the field of international advocacy, and in particular our meetings with a number of diplomatic missions, the most recent of which was a meeting held at EIPR’s headquarters on November 3rd with 13 ambassadors and accredited diplomats, who discussed ways to improve human rights conditions in Egypt.
In an unprecedented escalation for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a security force arrested Mohamed Bashseer, the Administrative Manager at EIPR from his home after midnight on Sunday the 15th and detained him for more than 12 hours
The undersigned family members of victims of police killings and civil society organizations from around the world, call on member states of the UN Human Rights Council to urgently convene a Special Session on the situation of human rights in the United States in order to respond to the unfolding grave human rights crisis borne out of the repression of nationwide protests. The recent protests erupted on May 26 in response to the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which was only one of a recent string of unlawful killings of unarmed Black people by police and armed white vigilantes.
EIPR calls on the Egyptian authorities not to exempt detention facilities and prisons from measures taken to reduce crowding and limit the spread of the virus, including police vehicles used to transfer people arrested for violating curfew and closure measures. When enforcing these legal measures, the authorities should always consider their primary objective—protecting lives and minimizing gatherings and density.
We want to take this chance to reaffirm that there are many more people in remand and pre-trial detention that the Prosecution should release for their own protection as well as the protection of the whole society, consistent with the other measures taken in response to the Covid19 crisis.
EIPR demands the immediate release of Patrick George Zaki without pressing charges, and calls for an investigation into his torture and ill-treatment.