Cairo: 17 November 2020

Today, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) called on the Public Prosecutor and the Minister of Interior to provide protection for labor leader Rashad Kamal and journalist Sayed Abdellah since their lives and safety are at risk after being illegally held in detention despite receiving a judicial release order 15 days ago. After the court ordered their release on 3 November 2020, Kamal was transferred to Faisal Police Station in Suez governorate while Abdellah was sent to Ataqa Police Station in the same governorate, and since then the security services are keeping them locked up in unknown places before returning them to custody, under no legal ground or judicial warrant and in a blatant violation and defiance of court decisions.

As a result of the two activists’ illegal detention, journalist Sayed Abdellah has been subjected to enforced disappearance while Rashad Kamal has been referred to Ataqa Police Station, which raises concerns about the possibility of “rotating/recycling” or including them- among others- into new cases.

Such approach raises many severe concerns for the two activists’ safety and lives in light of the security services’ violation of the rule of law and their disrespect of court orders, not to mention the obligations of international covenants with regard to treating detainees with dignity and immediately implement the judicial release orders issued for them.

Both labor leader Rashad Kamal and journalist Sayed Abdellah were arrested, among thousands of citizens, in September 2019 amid the demonstrations took place in Egypt at the time. They had been kept in pretrial detention pending Case No. 1338 of 2019 State Security until the criminal court, convened at the Counseling Chamber, ordered their release in an enforceable judgment that cannot be challenged or appealed by the Prosecution, but the National Security Agency used to violate the law and court orders and refused to release them until now.

ANHRI holds the Public prosecutor and the Minister of Interior fully responsible for the safety and lives of Rashad Kamal and Sayed Abdellah especially that they may face false and fabricated accusations. ANHRI also affirms its demand from the security services- particularly the National Security Agency- to respect court orders and the rule of law and to immediately release the two activists.