Egypt: Nine men still disappeared following abduction by State Security and police forces

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Families fear for the lives of nine men who remain missing following their abduction by Egyptian State Security and police forces.

Over the past three weeks, 44 individuals, most of whom young students, were summarily executed by State Security forces while secretly detained for periods ranging from two weeks to a month.

This practice is creating a climate of fear in the country. Families, who are systematically denied any information despite numerous inquiries, are extremely concerned over the fate and physical integrity of their relatives.

Six students abducted at home by State Security forces in July 2017

Of the nine men still missing, six are young students between the ages of 17 and 23. All six were abducted at home following brutal raids, and taken to unknown locations, with their families given no information on their whereabouts.

At 4:30 a.m. on July 5, 2017, Ahmed Sabry Abdel Atty Mahmoud, a 20-year-old student, was at home in Giza when around 20 officers, in uniforms and civilian clothes, stormed his house. They brutally searched the house until 6 a.m. before taking him to an unknown location.

On July 13, 2017, 23-year-old Muslim Gomaa Khedr Soliman and 22-year-old Mosaab Essam Mohamed Ewais Al Khedeery, were abducted from their homes while violent raids were carried out by several individuals in civilian clothes who identified themselves as members of State Security.

Soliman and Al Khedeery were arrested and taken to unknown locations. Members of the State Security forces refused to inform their families of the location to which they would be taken.

Around 5 p.m. on July 23, 2017 Akram Ibrahim Lotfy Ahmed Al Zaidy, a 20-year-old student, was abducted at home following a violent raid conducted by Special Forces officers in uniform and several men in civilian clothes identifying themselves as State Security forces. The officers arrested Al Zaidy and took him to an unknown location, without providing his relatives with any information.

On July 28, 2017, 17-year-old Amir Rida Abdul Moneim Matwally, and his 18-year-old cousin Ahmed Bakr Abdul Moneim Matwally, both high-school students, were at home with their families when members of the State Security and police forces, in uniforms and civilian clothes, stormed in and arrested them. Both victims were taken to an unknown location.

Following their arrest, their relatives went to different police stations as well as the State Security headquarters to inquire about their whereabouts. They also filed complaints with the Attorney General, the Minister of Interior, and the National Council for Human Rights. However, they were provided with no information and the authorities denied holding them.

Man missing for a year since police abduction at checkpoint

Ahmed Gamal Al Din Taher, a 34-year-old specialist in the chemical industry, was arrested at the Sheikh Zayed checkpoint in the 6th of October City on September 21, 2016 while on his way to visit a friend. He was able to inform his friend of the arrest with a short phone call before his phone was taken away and switched off by the police.

On July 12, 2016, Taher was sentenced to 25 years of imprisonment in absentia by the Aswan Military Court and was charged with the “bombing of the Kima Police Station.”

Following his disappearance, his family contacted various authorities, including the General Attorney, the Ministry of Interior, and the National Council for Human Rights, all to no avail. He remains missing for almost a year.

Abduction in the street by State Security forces

At around 5 p.m. on June 6, 2017, Abdul Aziz Eissa Shalfouta, a 52-year-old mechanical engineer and owner of an engineering company, was on his way to visit a client with his employees when his car was stopped by a minibus. Shalfouta and his employees were asked to get out of the car, and were subsequently blindfolded, forced to embark the minibus, and taken to an unknown location.

The employees, who were released in early July 2017, reported that the officers responsible for the arrest were State Security officers who took them to the 6th of October State Security Directorate. However, when the family of Shalfouta went to the Directorate to inquire about him, the authorities denied detaining him.

Disappearance of man at police station

On June 8, 2017, the mother of Abdul Rahman Osama Mohamed Akeed, a 30-year-old State agent, went to visit him at the New Cairo Police Station 2, where he was detained. Upon arrival, she was told by two officers that he was not detained there, and the officers refused to provide her with any information on his whereabouts.

Akeed was arrested in 2014 and sentenced to three years of imprisonment. After serving his sentence, on April 23, 2017, he was transferred from the Lyman Tora Prison to the New Cairo Police Station 2 for the completion of his release procedures. His mother, who was allowed to visit him twice a week, last saw him at the station on June 6, 2017.

The situation in Egypt has taken an extremely concerning turn in the past few weeks with dozens of enforced disappearances of young students and opposition voices reported every day, some being executed quickly after their abduction,” said , Alkarama's Regional Legal Officer for North Africa. “The Egyptian authorities continue to act with total impunity. This systematic practice of enforced disappearance amounts to a crime against humanity and their perpetrators should be prosecuted under international criminal law,” she added.

Alkarama brought the cases of Ahmed Sabry Mahmoud, Muslim Soliman, Mosaab Al Khedeery, Akram Al Zaidy, Abdul Rahman Akeed, Abdul Aziz Shalfouta, Ahmed Taher, Amir Matwally, and Ahmed Matwally before the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) in order to request that the Egyptian authorities reveal their fate and whereabouts.

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

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