EGY 003 / 0917 / OBS 099.1
Arbitrary detention /
Torture and ill-treatment
September 22, 2017
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the torture and ongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, human rights lawyer, Co-founder and Coordinator of the Association of the Families of the Disappeared in Egypt. Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy reportedly also provided legal advice to Giulio Regeni’s family.
According to the information received, on September 20, 2017, Egypt’s High State Security Prosecution renewed the preventive detention of Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy for 15 days pending investigation. Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy is being suspected of “founding and leading an organisation that was created illegally” (i.e. the Association of Families of the Disappeared), “spreading false news” and “communicating with foreign entities in order to undermine national security”.
He is currently detained at the ‘Scorpion’ (Al-Aqrab) high security wing of Tora prison complex, in solitary confinement, in a cell with refuse and no electricity. He is being denied access to his lawyers and family.
In addition, during the detention renewal hearing, Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy reported to his lawyers that during his enforced disappearance at State Security premises between September 10 and 12, 2017, he was tortured, including by electrocution.
Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy has been detained since September 10, 2017, when he was forcibly disappeared at Cairo International Airport before boarding a flight to Geneva as he was travelling in response to an invitation by the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID). Mr. Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy was held incommunicado until September 12, 2017 (see background information).