Egypt Rights Organization Statement on Alexandria Sewage Blocking Security Claims
|Monday, November 9,2015 16:19|
The Egyptian Coordinating Committee of Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) condemns the Interior Ministry's (IM's) November 6, 2015 statement, in which it claims it arrested a terrorist cell that had disabled Alexandria's sewage system and blocked all drains and manholes in all parts of Alexandria.
After extensive research and investigation of monitoring sources and documentation, it is evident that all the defendants mentioned in the IM statement had been arrested and forcibly disappeared long before the said IM statement – at least 22 days earlier. In other words, they had been abducted by security forces long before the heavy rain flooding and sewage problems that swept the country ever started.
The IM statement mentioned the following 17 youths:
1. Ahmed Gad Ahmed; arrested October 15, 2015
2. Kabbary Gouda Mohamed; arrested October 19, 2015
3. Medhat Ismail Al-Abtah
4. Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Khalaey
5. Mohamed Hassan Omara
6. Mahmoud Salama Ali; arrested October 19, 2015
7. Ahmed Mohamed Zaki Mohamed; arrested October 19, 2015
8. Mohamed Ahmed Ali
9. Yehya Abdel-Hamid Metwalli
10. Aladdin Mohamed
11. Ibrahim Abdel-Hamid Abul-Azm; arrested October 19, 2015
12. Mohamed Rashed Mohamed; arrested October 19, 2015
13. Mohamed Mabrook Abdel-Hamid
14. Abdel-Rahman Magdi El-Sayed
15. Ahmed Mohamed Ibrahim
16. Omar Mohamed Khedr
17. Mahmoud Yehya Metwalli.
Of these, nine were arrested from an informal (customary) 'family reconciliation session', helping to resolve a dispute between two families in Agami, Alexandria. The rest were arrested from various other places on the morning of October 17, 2015.
Coup security militias abducted all these until the evening of October 24, 2015 when they were all brought to the office of West Alexandria prosecution service at 12:00 blindfolded and without the presence of their lawyer. The prosecution decided to hold them in custody for 15 days pending further investigations, according to prosecution record number 33948 for the year 2015. Then, the prosecution renewed their remand in custody today (Saturday, November 7, 2015).
For its part, the ECRF affirms that the charges mentioned in the prosecution record have nothing to do with the IM claims circulated by the media falsely alleging they had prepared a chemical mixture with which they had filled septic tanks and sewage systems, and similarly farcical charges that have nothing to do with the reality according to public prosecutor records.
Moreover, these detainees' families had already made reports of their forced disappearances. This confirms that coup security authorities fabricated the accusations in the media to delude and distract citizens and justify the regime's utter failure to protect the lives and property of citizens.
The ECRF, therefore, affirms that the IM - in an attempt to dodge enforced disappearance accusations, and to spruce up its image – is laying false and groundless charges against innocent citizens.
It is now a regular practice for coup security forces to arrest people, subject them to forced disappearance, then find a fitting (or not so fitting) a crime to charge them with to justify this disappearance, after torturing and humiliating them in the worst and most horrendous ways.
The ECRF calls upon all jurists, activists and rights organizations not to stand silent in the face of such systematic use of this horrid crime by the current regime contrary to provisions of the law and the Constitution.
We must bring to a complete halt the practice of fabricating false accusations and the incarceration of innocent people. Furthermore, the IM must reveal the whereabouts of the forcibly disappeared and the places where this heinous crime is committed. It must also refrain from using lies, false claims and trumped charges and accusations for face-saving tactics. The crime of enforced disappearance has tarnished the face of the state of law or justice in Egypt.
Egyptian Coordinating Committee of Rights and Freedoms
Cairo: November 7, 2015