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Egypt: Sanaa Seif abducted outside the Public Prosecutor’s office (Demo)

This statement was originally published on on 23 June 2020.

The undersigned NGOs condemn the series of violations the family of the arbitrarily detained activist Alaa Abd-El Fattah has faced. The most recent of these was today, 23 June, when a police force abducted his sister Sanaa Seif, as she was approaching the Public Prosecutor’s Office, with the intent to file a report about the assault against her and her family in front of Tora prison yesterday.

On Tuesday afternoon, plain-clothes police officers, who didn’t identify themselves, abducted Sana Seif. Then she was brought, as a defendant, before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which ordered her detention for 15 days, pending investigations in lawsuit N.659/2020.

In the early morning of Monday 22 June in front of Tora prison gate, a group of women physically assaulted Sanaa Seif, her mother, Prof. Laila Souief, and her sister Mona; they faced aggravated battery, being dragged, and the theft of their personal belongings. Tora prison security forces did not intervene to protect them. Sanaa and her family were sitting-in for a whole night in front of the prison, demanding to check on the activist and blogger in custody, Alaa Abd-El Fattah.

It is worth mentioning that Alaa Abd-El Fattah’s family wasn’t able to communicate with him for three months since the suspension of the in-person family visits and the failure to transfer defendants to detention renewal hearings. Accordingly, such an aggressive attitude against Alaa Abd-El Fattah’s family raises concerns about his safety in prison.

Moreover, the signatory organizations deplore the General Prosecutor’s complicity with the security apparatus. He has made no action to protect victims, who resorted to him to seek an end to abuses against them. Additionally, he has  constantly neglected the Alaa Abd-El Fattah’s family’s distress calls, and their urging to be able to communicate with Alaa and check on his health and his situation in prison.

The signatories support Alaa Abd-El Fattah’s family’s demands to communicate with him, whether by written letter or phone call, as provisioned by the Prisons Regulation Law. Article N. 38 stipulates that “… Every convict has the right to keep up a correspondence and to be visited by his relatives twice per month according to the prison regulations. Persons in remand detention also have the same right in this regard, unless a decision is issued by the competent public prosecutor or the investigating judge otherwise…”

The undersigned organizations are demanding the General Prosecutor release Sanaa Seif immediately and investigate her abduction in front of his office. Also, they call for an investigation of the physical assaults against her and her family and the Tora prison forces’ inaction to protect them during yesterday’s incident.

The post Egypt: Sanaa Seif abducted outside the Public Prosecutor’s office appeared first on IFEX.


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