Egypt: Disappearance of a Man Following his Arrest from Home by Police and National Security Forces
On 20 March 2017, Alkarama sent an urgent appeal to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) concerning Mohamed Mohamed Al Morsy Al Sayad, a 55-year-old Egyptian teacher who was abducted on 13 March 2017 at home by members of the Police Forces and National Security. Despite their numerous requests to the authorities, his family remains without information about his fate and whereabouts and is extremely concerned over his health state.
Al Sayad was abducted on 13 March 2017 in the village of Sobih in the Al Sharqeya Governorate, by members of the Police and National Security, wearing plainclothes and uniforms, who broke into his house and arrested him without showing any warrant or informing him of the reasons for the arrest. Al Sayad was forcibly taken to an unknown location and remains disappeared since. As Al Sayad is suffering from diabetes and hepatitis, which requires regular medical attention and a daily treatment, his family is extremely concerned over his health state. Numerous complaints have been sent to the Egyptian authorities by his family despite their fear of reprisals, particularly to the General Prosecutor and Attorney General of Al Sharqeya North, the Ministry of Interior and the President of the Parliament, to inquire about his fate and whereabouts. So far, no answer was given to the family who is extremely concerned over his and therefore turned to Alkarama for assistance.
“The case of Al Sayad adds to the numerous disappearances that occur in Egypt on a regular basis,” said Radidja Nemar, Alkarama's Regional Legal Officer for North Africa. “Such appalling abuses illustrate the extremely disturbing pattern of violations committed by the Egyptian State against its citizens and merely constitute the tip of the iceberg of the brutal crackdown ongoing since the military takeover,” she added.
In its urgent appeal, Alkarama requested the WGEID to promptly intervene with the authorities and urge them to immediately inform Al Sayad’s family of his fate and whereabouts and to immediately release him. Concerned about the widespread practice of enforced disappearances in Egypt, Alkarama sent a general allegation to the WGEID in April 2016, to denounce the severity of the phenomenon. Alkarama particularly called on the Egyptian authorities to release all individuals secretly detained, to place them under the protection of the law, but also urged them to immediately halt this systematic practice and urgently open prompt, independent and impartial investigations into every report of enforced disappearance.
Alkarama furthermore reminded the Egyptian authorities that due to their systematic and widespread nature, these violations amount to a crime against humanity thus triggering international criminal responsibility of perpetrators and their superiors.
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