The family and lawyer of Islamic scholar Yusef Qaradawi’s daughter, Ola Qaradawi, and her husband have pled with the United Nations that the couple have been detained in Egypt and kept in solitary confinement for three months now with no charges laid against them, Reuters reported.
Ola Qaradawi, 55, and her husband Hossam Khalaf, 58, are held in two separate prisons in Cairo. They were arrested last June.
“Ola and Hosam are being held without access to their lawyers and family and are subjected to solitary confinement 24 hours a day in dark, small cells without beds or toilets,” Reuters quoted the lawyer’s letter to the UN as saying.
“Ola and Hosam have repeatedly affirmed that they are not, nor have they ever been, members of the Muslim Brotherhood or any terrorist organization.”
Ola’s brother, Mohammed Qaradawi, told Reuters in Geneva that there was no arrest warrant and no evidence, and that his sister and her husband are not allowed to communicate with anyone except for three minutes every 15 days, during the session held to renew their pre-trial, preventive detention.
The detainees’ family visited Geneva last week to encourage UN investigators specialised in torture and the right to receive medical treatment in prison to intervene with Egyptian authorities. UN officials confirmed that they received the appeal from the couple’s Washington-based lawyer Jared Genser.
Egyptian national security authorities accuse Ola Qaradawi and her husband of funding and supporting terrorist operations in Egypt, seeking to bring down the Egyptian state, inciting violence, calling for protests and trying to ignite chaos, and threatening pubic peace and order.
Last month, Egyptian authorities froze the assets of six of Qaradawi’s sons and daughters, including Ola, who is a Qatari citizen.
Three weeks before her arrest, Egypt joined Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries in severing diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Arab Gulf country supports terrorism and Iran, which Qatar firmly denies.