Forty-five opposition figures within and outside Egypt have issued a joint statement on Tuesday demanding the release of political detainees, particularly those whose pre-trial remand periods have ended. They also demanded the release of forcefully disappeared female Somaya Maher, and the revealing of locations where others who forcefully disappeared are being held.
Furthermore, the political figures emphasized the necessity to respect Egyptians’ dignity, within and outside prisons, by forming delegations of Egyptian and international rights organizations to visit these jails and hear inmates’ grievances.
The statement said, “What the regime of Abdulfattah al-Sisi committed against the 6th of April Movement coordinator, Amr Ali, by renewing his remand despite him having finished all previous remand periods has neither been the first, nor will be the last of such actions against the masses opposing his rule.
The regime had earlier renewed the remand of researcher Hisham Gaafar and journalist Hassan Kabany despite having lapsed. The same has been perpetrated against many other pre-trial remanded detainees who the state found no incriminating evidence against, and instead punished them with endless pre-trial detention terms in violation of the law
“Not only has the state violated its laws which limit pre-trial remand to two years, but has also gone further in continuing with its forceful concealing of those who oppose it, and in holding them hostage so as to eliminate them in cold bold whenever it deems necessary.
“Forced disappearance victims have been women as well. Most recently, Somaya Maher was abducted almost 10 days ago after having gotten engaged to a young man who had just been released from al-Sisi’s jails. The State chose to deny the couple from consummating their vows and continues to conceal the whereabouts of her holding from her family despite the pleas of her father – former MP and current detainee – who has requested of the court overseeing his case to order the Ministry of Interior to give up her location and set her free, but the judge took no action.
“This has coincided with increased pressure on detained, and even released, revolution icons. Deputy President of al-Wasat Party, Essam Sultan, collapsed due to fatigue while at court; Ahmed Maher was humiliated by ordering him to clean the floor of police station; and Mohammed al-Beltagi requested that an international committee inspect jails in order to put an end to the slow death within their walls. Most recently, Arab citizen Abu Galalah (50) died while in detention. Strangely enough, al-Sisi himself announced while in Paris that he does not mind receiving human rights’ delegations to visit jails and meet with the Attorney General.”
Among the most prominent signatories to the statement are
Amb. Masoum Marzouk
Mohammed Gamal Hishmat
AbdulMawgoud Dardery, Mohammed Ismail
Mohammed Saad Khayrallah