Statement from Somaya Maher’s Defense Team
|Wednesday, November 22,2017 22:58|
On Tuesday October 17, 2017, security forces arrested Somaya Maher and her mother from their home in Damanhour, Beheira Governorate. The following day, they were investigated at the Supreme State Security Prosecution’s office in New Cairo (case No. 955/2017). Somaya’s mother was released from the
Prosecutor’s office on Wednesday, October 18.
Since then, the defense team representing Somaya Maher has been trying to attend the interrogations with her, but the Prosecution refuses without giving any reasons, and solicits 'other' lawyers to appear with her for the sake of formality, which led the defense to file complaint No. 12794/2017 at the Attorney-General’s office on November 5, 2017. The complaint was also served to the Supreme State Security Prosecution to take necessary legal action on November 19, 2017.
Also on November 5, I approached the State Security Prosecution Attorney with a request to be present with my client, Somaya Maher, and he promised to let me on her next remand renewal or interrogation session.
On the following day, November 6, I was present in the prosecution offices but Somaya Maher was not there.
On November 7, I presented the Attorney General for the State Security Prosecution Circuits with a request to attend with my client, left my telephone number with the chief clerk of the department and I was promised to be contacted if she was brought to the Prosecutor. Upon asking about the place of her detention, he stated that she is detained in a public prison, which led me to go, on November 8, to the Department of Prisons to ask about my client and they sated that she is not present in any public prison.
On Wednesday, November 8, at 3:00 pm, I was present at the State Security Prosecution headquarters trying to find out the time of her next court appearance or interrogation. During my presence, I saw my client brought in by a van to the State Security Prosecution Office accompanied by a female guard, however I was prevented from approaching her or joining her.
I made desperate attempts to meet the prosecution Attorney General, however, I was turned down. Meanwhile, the chief clerk stated that Somaya Maher was not present in the prosecution office today despite the fact that I have seen her on videos recorded by the surveillance cameras located in the corridors of the prosecution office.
On November 9, I filed another complaint to the Attorney General, protesting government’s attempts to prevent me from attending interrogations of my client. The notice was filed under the No. 13005/2017. (The notice was also served to the Supreme State Security Prosecution in order to take legally necessary action on November 14, 2017).
Again, on November 13, 2017, Somaya Maher was present in the headquarters of the State Security Prosecution with her cousin, Omar Essam Rashad, who was arrested with her. However, their case was deferred to another day and they didn’t appear before their prosecutor for that day.
On November 19, 2017, during my presence at the prosecution’s office, and after meeting the Attorney General and the Chief Prosecutor handling the case, I was informed that Somaya Maher had not attended that day, and that I should come on Monday, November 20, 2017 to find out the date of her remand renewal session. However, we found out later that after we left the prosecution’s office, Somaya and other defendants in the case were brought in for interrogations.
Due to the obstruction exercised by the Supreme State Security Prosecution preventing the defense team appointed to defend Somaya Maher from attending her investigation, I have filed on Monday November 20, 2017, another compliant at the Attorney-General's office against the Supreme State Security Prosecution Attorney General and the Supreme State Security Prosecution Chief investigator of the case No. 955/2017 for preventing me from attending the interrogations with my client Somaya Maher and keeping her in a place of illegal detention.