Paris-Cairo-Geneva, August 30, 2019 - Mr. Ramy Shaath, politicalopponent and Coordinator of the BDS movement in Egypt, is arbitrarily detainedsince July 5. The information was made public last week by his wife, who wasforcibly expelled from the country at the time of her husband’s arrest. FIDH,the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the Cairo Institute for HumanRights Studies (CIHRS) denounce the ongoing consequences of the most recentcrackdown on civil society in Egypt. They renew their call on the authoritiesto immediately end any act of harassment, including at the judicial level,against all peaceful activists, in particular political opponents and humanrights defenders.
Mr. Ramy Shaath is a political opponent with Palestinian-Egyptiandual citizenship. He joined the coalition of activists who organized theJanuary 2011 popular uprising that led to the departure of Egyptian PresidentMubarak, and played an important role in the country's democratic transition,including the El-Dostour party. In addition, he has been the Coordinator of theBoycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement in Egypt since 2015, in supportof the Palestinians' right to self-determination. He is also the son of Dr. NabilShaath, former Palestinian Deputy Prime Minister and current Foreign AffairsAdvisor to President Mahmoud Abbas in Palestine.
Last week, his wife, Ms. Céline Lebrun Shaath, revealed that herhusband has been arbitrarily detained since July 5, 2019, when a dozen ofheavily armed security agents stormed his home during the night and searched itwithout presenting any legal documents justifying their intervention. Duringthe raid, officers seized computers, hard drives and mobile phones. They tookMr. Ramy Shaath to an unknown location. Ms. Lebrun Shaath, a French citizenresiding in Egypt for more than seven years, was present at the time of hisarrest. She was arbitrarily and forcibly deported from Egypt back to France byofficials who also refused to allow her to contact her consulate, though shewas officially under its protection.
“Mr. Ramy Shaath isarbitrarily detained for his legitimate and peaceful political activities andcharged in a baseless criminal case. in which there is no tangible evidenceagainst him, except for "police investigation findings" to whichneither he nor his lawyers have had access”, said Leslie Piquemal,Senior EU Advocacy Representative at CIHRS.
Mr. Shaath’s disappearance was reported by his family and lawyers to theQasr el Nil police station on July 5 in the morning. 36 hours later, on July 6,Mr. Shaath reappeared before the State Security Prosecution. It was then thathis family discovered that he had been added to an already open criminal case (State Security case No. 930/2019) known as the "Hope Plan" case, and chargedwith "assistance to a terrorist group".
The last months saw the creation inEgypt of a movement bringing together political parties and social movements ona pro human rights agenda. The Egyptian authorities, relayed by the officialmedia, have renamed it the “Hope Plan”, and wrongly accused its allegedsupporters of terrorism and undermining State security.
Since his arrest, Mr. Ramy Shaath has been held in Torah prison. Hespent his first month of detention in a cell of about 30 square metres in whichabout 30 other people were also detained, some suffering from illnesses, withno space to lie down. His pre-trial detention has been constantly renewed, mostrecently on August 27, 2019.
“We urge the Egyptianauthorities to release immediately Mr. Ramy Shaath, given the absence ofcharges based on solid evidence against him, and that his wife be allowed toreturn to Cairo as soon as possible, both to support her husband and because itis her place of residence and employment”, said Gerald Staberock, OMCT Secretary General.
“During the last two months, at least 83 persons, includingpolitical opponents, journalists and human rights defenders, have been arrestedin Egypt over terrorist charges for their alleged implication in a plot againstthe State, including former member of Parliament and human rights lawyer Zyadal-Elaimy, and human rights defenders Hassan Barbary, Ahmad Taman and AlaaEssam”, recalled Shawan Jabarin, Secretary General of FIDH.
* FIDH: Anissa Daboussi (French, English): +33 6 08 99 50 80
* OMCT: Iolanda Jaquemet (French,English): + 41 79 539 41 06 / +41 22 809 49 39 * CIHRS: Leslie Piquemal (English, French):+32474508271 / email@example.com