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Egypt: Al-Monoufia families lose sons to 'enforced disappearance'

Families in Egypt's Al-Monoufia governorate have made appeals to human rights organisations to help them find their sons, who were captured by security forces from various areas over the past months since last September.

The whereabouts of 23 Al-Monoufia youth and the reasons why they were arrested are unknown, the families say.

Since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first and only democratically elected leader, in July 2013, families and human rights organisations have repeatedly expressed concerns about the rise in enforced disappearance cases especially for youth and activists.

The names of some of those who have disappeared are: Ali Khaled El-Tablawi; Mohammed Saeed Mahrous; Ahmed Omar Makram; Omar Ghraib Qasim; Maher Nagy; Anas Gamal Khalifa; Ahmed Raafat; Abdel Moneim Nasser; Amer Mohammed; and Sameh Abdel Sameea Lashin.

A student, Ammar Yasser Al-Abbosi, from Berkat El-Saba district and Abdul Hamid Al-Shall from the Ashmoun district, who was acquitted by court two weeks ago, also went missing and are believed to be held by security forces.

Families said they filed dozens of letters to the Prosecutor General's office demanding to know the whereabouts of their sons and asking that they be questioned by competent authorities if need be, but through normal legal channels.

The families' efforts so far have gone in vain and they are now holding the interior ministry responsible for the safe return of their sons.

They argued that the Ministry of Interior's practices, which include abusing and terrorising youth, aim to cover up the state's failure in solving Egyptians' economic problems.

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