At least 163 people have been forcibly disappeared and illegally detained by security forces in the past two months alone, according to a document published by the Freedom for the Brave campaign on its official Facebook page.
to the group’s breakdown of these cases, 66 activists have gone missing
in this time period, and their whereabouts are still unknown. Another
64 people were only located after they had been detained without charges
or interrogation for more than 24 hours in an undisclosed location, in
violation of the Constitution. Another 31 cases cited in the document
have not yet been verified by the group.
At least two of the
people included in the list were allegedly killed by security forces,
including Ain Shams University student Ismail Atito and Sinai resident
The majority of these incidents occurred in Cairo,
where 60 cases of forced disappearances have been reported, followed by
Kafr al-Sheikh with 31, 16 in Giza and 13 in Daqahlia. Suez, Matrouh,
the Red Sea, the New Valley and South Sinai were the only governorates
that did not report any such cases in the past two months.
for the Brave said that the majority of the information compiled to
create this database was gathered from the group’s own research on
certain cases it has been directly following, as well as from
documentation compiled by other rights organizations and complaints
circulated on social media by the families of the disappeared. The
campaign also published the tracking numbers of the official complaints
that families have submitted to the prosecution.
been forcibly disappeared since July 2013, but this number is now
increasing at an unprecedented rate,” Freedom for the Brave member Tarek
Mohamed told Mada Masr.
He believes that the current crackdown is
a general “continuation of the regime’s policies against any movement
associated with the January 25 revolution,” but also a specific reaction
against the April 6 Youth Movement’s call for a general strike on June
But the crackdown is baseless, Mohamed argued. The call to
strike does not violate any law, as it is a “call for the people to stay
home in protest against deteriorating economic conditions and ongoing
arrests,” he claimed.
Several of the people who have been
illegally detained and held in undisclosed locations were later charged
with belonging to the April 6 Youth Movement, which the courts ruled an
illegal organization last year, Mohamed pointed out. They also faced
accusations of coordinating with the banned Muslim Brotherhood group and
calling for the June 11 strike.
“Those accusations were leveled
against activist Dalia Radwan, the only one released on bail, and a
member of the Helwan University Student Union, Ahmed Khattab, who
appeared in front of the prosecution bearing signs of torture,” Mohamed
said. “Nagwa Ezz and Ahmed al-Zayyat faced similar charges”.
Mohamed added that the prosecution has since reversed its decision to
release Radwan and remanded her into custody for 15 days pending
Mohamed also spoke of photojournalist Israa al-Taweel,
Sohaib Mohamed and Amr Mohamed, who were illegally detained on June 1.
Their families and lawyers have still not been able to obtain any
information on their whereabouts.
“We fear that those who
disappeared face the same fate of Atito,” Mohamed said, referring to the
Ain Shams University student who disappeared on May 19 after he was
allegedly summoned out of an exam room by a security officer and another
unidentified man. He was found dead the following day. The Interior
Ministry released a statement claiming the student was involved in the
assassination of a police officer, and had been killed in an exchange of
fire with police forces when he tried to evade arrest.
The ministry has denied all reports of forced disappearances.