Amr Ibrahim Metwalli Hegazi, 22 years old, took part in a demonstrations on 8 July 2013 in which a big massacre took place known as the “Republican Guards massacre”. Amr disappeared. His father, Ibrahim Metwalli Hegazi, searched for him in hospitals, morgues, police stations, but to no avail. Hegazi resorted to the authorities, but they did not cooperate. Amr is not the only person who disappeared. Therefore, Ibrahim felt compassion for every parent who lost their child without knowing their destiny. Eventually, he founded “The Egyptian Center against Enforced Disappearance”, which generated “The association of families of enforced disappearance victims”. It is a nightmare for the Egyptian authorities to talk about enforced disappearance, therefore, whoever speaks up is threatened by prison. This is exactly what happened to Ibrahim. On the 10th of September 2017, the human rights lawyer, Ibrahim Metwally Hegazi, was arrested on board an aircraft heading to Geneva, Switzerland. As he was invited to attend a conference about Enforced Disappearance held by UN no. 113 from 11 to 15 September 2017 in the UN Human Rights Council. Hegazi did not commit a crime except for founding an association for families who lost their children as victims of enforced disappearances. The association played a critical role through corresponding with international organizations, especially the UN, which depended on the association’s reports documenting its reports and recommendations.
It seems that the Egyptian authorities are very keen to preserve “Egypt’s reputation”! It defends this reputation by arresting those who speak the truth, but it never tries to change its oppressive policies to improve its image. Hegazi who committed the “crime” of searching for his own son and other people’s children, is also the lawyer of Julio Regeni, the Italian researcher who was mysteriously murdered in Egypt. No wonder then if the Egyptian regime seeks to take vengeance from Hegazi. After his disappearance, Hegazi appeared before the prosecution to be accused of the classical repeated accusations. He was then confined in Torah2 prison “Excessively guarded” or what is known as “Aqrab” prison. It is known with the latter name for the tough treatmen. Ibrahim Metwalli Hegazi suffers from numerous maladies: severe inflammation of the prostate and trembling limbs. Yet the prison directorate refusing to transfer him to the prison hospital in order to receive his treatment. He is also deprived of sporting and family visits for more than one year and a half, which impacted his moral and physical status. On the 4th of November, 5 western countries expressed their concern for arresting the prominent human rights advocate Ibrahim Hegazi in a statement published on the official page of the German embassy as Germany, Canada, Italy, Netherlands and UK demanded that the Egyptian authorities should guarantee the freedom of civil society and protect citizens from torment as it is stated in the constitution.
Ibrahim Metwalli Hegazi is not a criminal he did nothing but searching for his son and feeling for other parents.
Ibrahim Metwalli Hegazi deserves his freedom.