Cairo: 7 July 2020

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said today that the increasing inaction displayed by the Public Prosecutor towards the mounting illegal detention and enforced disappearance reports/complaints lodged before him, by refraining from opening investigations into the matter or hearing the victims’ testimonies, exacerbates impunity in Egypt and gives the security forces the opportunity to further violate the law and the Constitution. The last of these complaints was the one filed by ANHRI’s lawyers on the 8th of last June reporting the arrest of Sara Fathi on 15 April 2020, and since then ANHRI hasn’t received an answer to the complaint.

On 15 April 2020, the family of citizen Sara Fathi Ibrahim filed a complaint to ANHRI reporting her arrest after the security forces stormed her house and smashed its contents while she was visiting her mother. When Sara returned back to her home along with her sister Amria Fathi, they both were arrested and taken to the Al-Amiriya Police Station. Four days later, her sister was released, but Sara remained disappeared and her whereabouts hasn’t yet been disclosed as the Prosecution hasn’t clarified the reason behind his arrest.

Consequently, on 8 June 2020, ANHRI’s lawyers lodged an official complaint to the Public Prosecutor, registered under No. 24134 of 2020, reporting the incident of the arrest of Fathi Ibrahim Ahmed from the vicinity of her house located in Tuman Bay Street, Cairo’s Al Zaytoun district on the 15th of April 2020. ANHRI demanded to open an investigation into the incident and to reveal Sara’s fate and whereabouts; especially that she is a mother of four children. ANHRI also demanded to investigate the police officers who stormed Sara’s house, arrested her, and disappeared her for more than two months. However, ANHRI hasn’t received an answer, nor the family or lawyers of Sara has received any action or witness any measure taken by the Public Prosecutor, which raises concern about the fate of an Egyptian citizen who has been under enforced disappearance while being in the custody of the security services in a flagrant violation of the law.

Gamal Eid, ANHRI’s director, said: “We do respect the law and adhere to it. When a citizen got arrested and went missing in an illegal way, we lodged a report to the Public Prosecutor last June in order to open an investigation into the matter. However, an entire month has passed and we haven’t yet heard any answer or seen any measure taken by the Public Prosecutor which may show his concern for the liberty of an Egyptian citizen! Who can then stop the security services’ negligence and inaction towards the implementation of the law and the constitution and put an end to the phenomenon of enforced disappearance?”

ANHRI reiterates its call on the security services to urgently release citizen/Sara Fathi Ibrahim and disclose her whereabouts, or make her appear before the competent prosecution if she is accused in any case. It also calls on the Public Prosecutor to hold accountable those responsible for the illegal abduction and detention of Sara and to make her appear before the competent prosecution, in accordance with the Constitution and Article 280 of the Egyptian Penal Code, which states that “whoever arrests, confines, or detains a person without an order from one of the concerned judges/ ruling governors, and in other than cases wherein the laws and statutes authorize the arrest of suspects, shall be punished with detention or a fine”.