Rotation of Ahmed Sabry Nassef for the third time, a month after his acquittal

Press Release

26 May 2022

After a remand detention that lasted for more than 5 years, and despite a verdict of his acquittal, Ahmed Sabry Ali Nassef appeared today before the Zawya Prosecution. He was investigated in connection with Zawiya Misdemeanor No. 4407 of 2022, on charges of “joining a terrorist group and possessing of one bullet,” after a period of unlawful detention at an unknown location.

Nassef was acquitted by the criminal court on April 17, 2022, and he was transferred to the Al-Waily police station in preparation for his release. Despite the completion of all his release procedures, the Ministry of Interior refrained from implementing the judicial order and continued his unlawful detention for more than a month. During his interrogation today, Nassef said that after he was acquitted, he was transferred to Al-Waily Police Department, then to Al-Marg Police Department where he remained in detention, until he was transferred to Al-Zawya Police Department yesterday evening, May 24, 2022.

Ahmed Nassef was first arrested on January 18, 2017 when he was 18 years old. His family was unable to locate him or communicate with him until February 19, 2017, after he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which investigated him in connection with Case 148 of 2017, and accused him of joining a terrorist group, without confronting him with evidence. Nassef remained in remand detention for the maximum period approved by law (two years) until the Public Prosecution decided to release him on March 13, 2019. The Ministry of Interior did not implement the decision, so Nasef disappeared again until he was brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution once more on July 7, 2019, which investigated him for the same accusations on Case No. 750 of 2019. After more than two years of pretrial detention of Nassef in the second case, the State Security Prosecution decided to release him on September 26, 2021, but his detention continued illegally in the police station without implementing the decision.

On October 30, 2021, Nassef was brought before Al-Marg Prosecution, which investigated him for the third time on charges of “joining a terrorist group”, in addition to “possession of two bullets,” which is in contradiction with the fact that he was held in police custody continuously since the beginning of 2017. Nassef was referred to trial in East Cairo Case No. 4540 of 2021, and on April 17, 2022, the lawyer of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights obtained a verdict acquitting Nassef of all charges against him.

Nassef has been unlawfully detained over the past weeks, in violation of Article 280 of the Penal Code, which classifies this form of detention as a punishable crime under Article 123 of the same law that punishes any public official who deliberately fails to implement the provisions of the law or Court order. It should be noted that the repeated detention of Nassef in 4 cases, with the same accusations being brought against him, violates the provisions of Articles 454 and 455 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which stipulate that a person may not be tried for the same incident twice. Accordingly, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights calls for the immediate release of Ahmed Sabry Ali Nassef, as well as the opening of a serious investigation into his illegal detention over the past weeks. EIPR stresses that it is not logical that Nassef is tried in a fourth case after five years, during which he was detained for the same accusations, especially after a verdict was issued acquitting him of all that was attributed to him.