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Egypt: Urgent Appeal to the UN regarding Arbitrary Detention of President Mohamed Morsi

On 10 July, Alkarama presented the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention with the case of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi 'Isa al-'Ayat, arrested and arbitrarily detained since his overthrow by the Army on 3 July 2013.

Also arrested with him were his staff, including Dr. Ahmad 'Abd-al-'Ati, Dr. 'Isam al-Hadad, Mr. Khalid al-Qazaz, Mr. 'Abd-al-Majid Mishali, Mr. As'ad al-Shaykhah, and Dr. Ayman 'Ali. All of them were detained, apparently under "house arrest", but in a location that remains unknown.

Alkarama informed the UN that on 3 July, the top officer of the Egyptian Army, General 'Abd-al-Fattah al-Sisi, announced the isolation of Dr. Mohamed Morsi, the first democratically elected civilian President in Egypt's history. According to some information, the Egyptian President and his aides were detained in the headquarters of the Republican Guard in Cairo.

Alkarama added that the President and his aides have not been officially charged with any crime, nor had they been referred to a court as of the date of the issuing of the memorandum. Moreover, information that Alkarama received indicates that they are being held in isolation from the world and that they cannot even communicate with their families or lawyers. Alkarama noted in its communication to the Working Group that Mr. Abdelmoneim Metwalli, the lawyer of President Mohamed Morsi, was arrested when he went to Tora Prison on 4 July to provide legal assistance to the leaders of the Freedom and Justice Party, arrested at the same time as the President and who have been imprisoned ever since.

In its communication to the Working Group, Alkarama stressed the arbitrary nature of the arrest of President Mohamed Morsi and his aides, pointing to the resolutions that have been issued by the UN team which described house arrest as arbitrary detention, as is the case in the matter of the Burmese opposition leader Aung San Su Chi.

The arrest of Mohamed Morsi and his team is not only a violation of their right to liberty and security as stipulated in the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights in its ninth paragraph, but is also a violation of their right to fair legal procedures as stipulated in paragraph 14 of the same Covenant. It was demanded that the Working Group intervene to protect them from torture and work to secure their immediate release.

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