Cairo: 10 October, 2019

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) filed yesterday a legal complaint with the Public Prosecutor and the Judicial Inspection Department against the head of State Security Prosecution “Mohamed El-Garf”, who prevented ANHRI’s lawyer of the well-known vlogger “Mohamed Oxygen” from attending the investigation with him the day before, despite the lawyer’s presence before the commencement of the investigation and despite submitting a request to attend the interrogation with his client.

ANHRI’s lawyer defending vlogger and prisoner of conscience “Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Radwan”, aka Mohamed Oxygen, saw his client at the State Security Prosecution’s headquarters. Consequently, he asked investigator Mohamed El-Garf to attend the investigation with “Oxygen” for being his attorney, and he answered: “I am currently in a discussion with him and will inform you when the investigation begins”.

When the alleged discussion took so long, the lawyer repeated his request, but he was surprised at the investigator informing him that the investigation had already come to an end!!

Since what the investigator did constitutes an encroachment on the law and the constitution; as it is not permissible for a Public Prosecution’s member to trample on the defendants’ rights to the presence of an attorney, not to mention the defense lawyers’ right not to separate them from their clients, ANHRI filed a legal complaint with the Public Prosecutor- registered under no. 13400 of 2019 (Public Prosecution petitions)- and with the Judicial Inspection Department demanding to open an investigation into the incident of precluding ANHRI’s lawyer from attending the interrogation with his client Mohamed Oxygen.

It’s worth mentioning that vlogger Mohamed Oxygen has been illegally detained at the National Security Agency headquarters, after a National Security officer came to take him there while he was carrying out his probation measures at Al-Basateen Police Station. And as a result, a telegraph was sent to the Public Prosecutor reporting the incident.

Mohamed Oxygen then appeared at the Prosecution headquarters, and shortly afterwards Mohamed El-Garf interrogated him in the absence of his lawyer, who did submit a request to attend the interrogation before he was later informed that it had already been conducted.

ANHRI said: “The way the State Security Prosecution’s head behaved or acted violates not only the constitution and the law but also all legal and humanitarian norms, and such behavior leads us to indeed distrust Egypt’s justice system. We know that lodging a complaint could result in either the prosecution’s head being held accountable for this gross breach of the law, or it could be met by an act of arbitrariness or retaliation that we might face for daring to file a complaint against him. However, this situation has no longer been acceptable in light of the Interior Ministry’s repeated encroachment on the rights of citizens. The Public Prosecutor should hold the prosecution’s head accountable for such a violation; so as not to make the matter or the situation be echoed, in a way that depriving citizens of their legal rights by the Public Prosecution, which acts on behalf of the people, would become a common practice or a matter of routine.”

Based on this complaint, the Arabic Network is waiting for an urgent and fair investigation to be opened into the incident, which has demonstrated a proven violation of both the law and human rights.