Cairo: 30 September 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that the Public Prosecutor has to oblige the Interior Ministry to respect the Constitution, abide by its provisions, and open an investigation into the complaint filed with the Public Prosecutor on the 25th of September 2018, No. 10664 of 2018 Attorney General, about the security forces’ arrest of citizen Moaz El Sharkawy at a police checkpoint on the way between Dahab and Sharm El-Sheikh cities- AKA “Madsoos” checkpoint- so that Egypt won’t become a lawless country. Moaz was arrested on 19 September from a tourist bus while he was on a trip to Dahab which was organized by a touring company he owns.
Moaz El Sharkawy, a 25-year-old tour company owner, was on his way to Dahab city during a tourist trip organized by his company. The bus he was boarding went by more than four security checkpoints until the security forces stopped the bus at Madsoos” checkpoint asking Moaaz to get out of it for a couple of minutes, which have extended for 12 days without bringing him before the Prosecution or even disclosing his whereabouts or the reasons behind his detention, in a clear and flagrant infringement of the Egyptian Constitution’s provisions, particularly Article 54 which states:
“Every person whose freedom is restricted shall be immediately notified of the reasons therefore; shall be informed of his/her rights in writing; shall be immediately enabled to contact his/her relatives and lawyer; and shall be brought before the investigation authority within twenty four (24) hours as of the time of restricting his/her freedom.
Investigation may not start with the person unless his/her lawyer is present. A lawyer shall be seconded for persons who do not have one. Necessary assistance shall be rendered to people with disability according to procedures prescribed by Law.
Every person whose freedom is restricted, as well as others, shall have the right to file grievance before the court against this action. A decision shall be made on such grievance within one (1) week as of the date of action; otherwise, the person must be immediately released.”
Since neither have El Sharkawy’s lawyers (from ANHRI) nor his family received any contact from Moaz until now, and since their attempts to know his place or the reasons for his detention were unsuccessful, ANHRI resorted to the Public Prosecutor. Perhaps he could oblige the Interior Ministry to respect the Constitution and punish those who waste its provisions. If it is not to maintain the Constitution, at least it could be for maintaining the reputation of a country where such an instance is proof for the waste of the law and Constitution.
ANHRI said, “Five days have passed since lodging a complaint with the Public Prosecutor on a case of illegal detention. We know that the Interior Ministry monitors ANHRI’s website, and this statement would not have been released had the ministry shown any respect to the Constitution and its provisions. Citizens’ lives and freedoms are not controlled by some police practices. The Ministry of the Interior has to provide a model of respect for the law and ought not to engage in abusive practices that would waste its credibility”.