Human rights organizations condemn the Public Prosecutor’s inaction after abducting Sanaa Seif in front of his office and demand her immediate release

24 June, 2020

The undersigned human rights organizations condemn the series of violations the detained activist Alaa Abd-El Fattah’s family has faced. The last of which was today, when her sister Sanaa Seif was abducted by a police force in front of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, while she was attempting to lodge an official complaint about the assault she and her family endured outside the Tora prison complex yesterday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Plainclothes police officers, who didn’t identify themselves, abducted Sanaa Seif, shortly before bringing her as a defendant before the Supreme State Security Prosecution.

In the early morning of last Monday, Sanaa Seif along with her family members- her mother Prof. Laila Souief and her sister Mona- were subjected to a number of physical assaults; as they were beaten up, dragged by the hair, and robbed of their personal belongings by a group of women (thugs) in front of Tora prison gate, on the watch of the security guards who didn’t intervene to protect them. Sanaa and her family spent the whole night camping and staging a sit-in outside the prison, demanding to be reassured of the health condition of activist Alaa Abd El Fattah who is being held in custody.

Since the suspension of prison family visits and the inability to transfer defendants to attend their detention renewal hearings, Alaa Abd El Fattah’s family couldn’t have communicated with him for more than three months, and as a result, such violent practices against his family raise concerns about his condition and safety in prison.

The signatory organizations denounce the Public Prosecutor’s complicity with the security services; since he has made no action to protect the victims of such violations after they resorted to him to complain about the abuse they suffered. This is in addition to turning a blind eye to Alaa Abd El Fattah’s family’s calls and demands to check on his conditions in prison and to allow them to communicate with him in any legal way.

Signatories, accordingly, support Alaa Abd El Fattah’s family’s demands to communicate with him, whether by written letter or phone call, as stipulated by the Prisons Regulation Law, Article 38 thereof states 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 signatory organizations call upon the Public Prosecutor to immediately release Sanaa Seif and to investigate into her illegal abduction in front of his office. NGOs also demand to investigate the incident of the physical assaults against her and her family as well as the Tora prison security forces’ inaction to protect them.

Signatories:

  • The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
  • Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
  • El Nadim Center
  • Freedom Initiative
  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  • Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
  • Committee for Justice
  • Egyptian Front for Human Rights