Egypt: Disappearance of a Medical Student Following His Abduction by the Homeland Security

 Disappearance of a Medical Student Following His Abduction by the Homeland Security

On 30 September 2016, Alkarama alerted the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) of the case of Ahmed Abdelrahman Ahmed Youssef Mabrouk, an Egyptian medical student who disappeared on 6 September. That day, Mabrouk was abducted by members of the Homeland Security at the University Hospital of 6th of October City, Giza Governorate, and has since gone missing, with the authorities denying any implication in his abduction and refusing to disclose his whereabouts. His case adds to the thousands of disappearances that occurred in the country, including the recent disappearances earlier this month, of a lawyer and another student in the Giza Governorate.

Mabrouk, turning 23 years old today, is an Egyptian medical student specialised in dentistry. On 6 September, he was leaving the University Hospital of 6th of October City, when members of the Egyptian Homeland Security dressed in civilian clothes abducted him without presenting any warrant nor giving any reason for his arrest. They covered his face with a t-shirt and left with a mini-van to an unknown location. His family remained without any information on the fate and whereabouts for several days, until they were informally informed of his abduction and detention at the Homeland Security facility of Sheykh Zayed, a district of 6th of October City. Despite several attempts of the family to try to locate him, namely through soliciting the intervention of the Egyptian authorities, his whereabouts remain unknown and information has been constantly denied to his relatives.

In fact, Ahmed Mabrouk’s brother, Omar Mabrouk, was arrested in Kuwait in October 2015. Alkarama was seized of his case and denounced his unlawful extradition to Egypt, where he eventually faced a prolonged time of secret detention and torture at the hands of the Egyptian security services.

“Again, we witness another case of enforced disappearance at the hands of the Egyptian Homeland Security and a consequent denial from the relevant authorities to provide information and to even recognise the disappearance,” said Simone Di Stefano, Alkarama’s Regional Legal Officer for the Nile. “We are extremely concerned at the escalation of this phenomenon, while we think that Mabrouk’s disappearance is an act of retaliation in link with his brother’s case, who was also disappeared and tortured at the hand of the Egyptian Security Services.”

In light of the increasing number of enforced disappearances reported in Egypt, with the last case concerning Ahmed Mabrouk, Alkarama asked the WGEID to promptly intervene with the Egyptian authorities requesting clarification over his fate and whereabouts. In April 2016, Alkarama had sent a general allegation to the WGEID to raise its concern over the systematic character of this practice. Alkarama thus calls on the Egyptian authorities to first release all individuals secretly detained and to place them under the protection of the law, and secondly urges them to immediately halt this systematic practice that constitutes a crime against humanity and to urgently open prompt, independent and impartial investigations into every report of enforced disappearance, while prosecuting and punishing its authors accordingly.

For more information or an interview, please contact media@alkarama.org (Tel: +41 22 734 1008).

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