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Egypt arrests 10 family members to force fugitive to surrender

Police can be seen arresting an Egyptian man [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]

The Egyptian authorities have arrested ten family members of an escaped prisoner in an attempt to pressure him to surrender, the Geneva-based Committee for Justice said yesterday.

The committee documented the arrest and enforced disappearance of ten family members of escaped prisoner, Mahmoud Abu Hassiba on 27-28 August from the victims’ homes in Helwan, it said.

Abu Hassiba escaped while being transported to prison.

On 27 August at 22:00 security forces arrested Abu Hassiba’s wife, Aya, and her father from her family’s house. An hour later they returned and arrested Aya’s brother Abdullah.

The family was held at the Helwan police station before being moved to an undisclosed location.

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A relative who was released from Helwan police station because she was pregnant said the officers threatened to kill Abu Hassiba when he is found.

The majority of the family members who have disappeared work at Helwan University which has suspended them due to their lack of attendance. Security officials refuse to admit that they have been arrested or provide the families with papers confirming their detention.

The remaining family members who have not been arrested fear that they will see the same fate, the organisation said.

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