• September 21, 2016
  • 7 minutes read

Hijacked Homeland: Anti-Forced Disappearance Campaign by Rights Groups, NGOs

Hijacked Homeland: Anti-Forced Disappearance Campaign by Rights Groups, NGOs

 It has become clear to the general Egyptian public, and all those working or are concerned with human rights, that Egyptian authorities are continuing to use the crime of enforced disappearance regularly and systematically. In fact, the pace of junta apparatuses committing this crime is getting faster and more ferocious day after day. More than 3,462 cases have been documented of men and women subjected to enforced disappearance since the July 3, 2013 military coup d’état, including about 700 people in the past three months alone.

Meanwhile, junta authorities turn a blind eye and refuse to hear any of the appeals for a halt to the heinous crime. Authorities also fail to comply with the terms stipulated in international charters and conventions, as well as the Egyptian law and constitution.

It is unfortunate that a treacherous crime such as forced disappearance become a regular and systematic tool used by the security apparatuses to extract certain information or confessions, or to apply pressure and to blackmail people. More recently, enforced disappearance has become a sure step that precedes the fabrication of charges in important cases.

This appeared to be the case in many public-opinion like the killing of the Public Prosecutor, and the case known in the media as the "Kafr El-Sheikh Stadium" trial, where security forces used ‘suspects’ from victims of enforced disappearance.

Worse still, other horrific crimes and atrocities are associated with this heinous crime, including torture and extrajudicial killings, as happened with the Italian student and researcher Giulio Regeni: security agencies had subjected him to enforced disappearance from January 25, 2016 and until his body was found in a ditch (on February 3) with clear and horrific signs of torture.

Organizations and bodies that signed this statement consider it their duty to stand up to this violation as the most dangerous to the society, until Egyptian authorities stop committing that crime, and abide by relevant laws and the Constitution.

This joint campaign demand that Egyptian authorities:

– Stop committing the crime of enforced disappearance once and for all.

– Show all the disappeared.

– Uncover and close all secret and illegal places of detention.

– Activate the provisions of the law which require monitoring of places of detention and prisons by judicial authorities and human rights organizations.

– Stop fabricating accusations for victims of forced disappearance, and review charges, verdicts and sentences issued against such victims.

– Release all the disappeared who have not been charged with any crimes.

– Try all officials who violated the law with enforced disappearance, torture or fabricated accusations. No-one is greater or higher than the law and the Constitution, whatever their powers or positions.

Based on the foregoing, the signatories of this statement demand that the local society and the international community must show solidarity in order to achieve the above objectives; and in order for Egypt to become a state of law and order that protects citizens’ rights, dignity and freedom.

Signatories of the statement:

Egyptian Coordinating Committee of Rights and Freedoms

Shehab Center for Human Rights

The Afro-Arab Center

Dahaya (Victims) Center

Association of the Families of the Disappeared

Cairo: Monday – September 19, 2016