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Spain deports Egypt imam opposed to government to Cairo

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK has revealed details about the deportation of an Egyptian Islamic preacher who is opposed to the Egyptian regime by the Spanish authorities.

Spain handed over Alaa Mohamed Said, 45, who is imam of the Firdous Masjid in Logrono and the head of the Islamic Union of Imams and Preachers in Spain, to Egypt on 3 June after he was held for a month and a half in a deportation prison in Madrid. The imam was accused by the Spanish authorities of being affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and embracing Wahhabi thoughts.

According to the information obtained by the organisation, the director of the detention centre summoned Alaa Said on 2 June and informed him that the Spanish authorities had granted him a pass to travel outside Spain to any other country he would like, denying that he would be deported to Egypt and confirming that he would be transferred to another detention centre.

But the next day three security personnel escorted Mr. Said to a detention centre near the airport. At 10am a doctor and a nurse came to him without giving any indication for the reason behind their visit.

At 4pm, Said was forced into a car and then taken to a private plane with the doctor and nurse, bound and blindfolded. The pilot then told him that he was being handed over to Egypt. The nurse injected him with a narcotic substance and he regained consciousness shortly before arriving in Egypt.

Read: Egypt refuses to build refugee camps for migrants deported from Europe

When Said arrived in Cairo Airport he was arrested by the Egyptian security inside the plane after receiving his passport, papers, and luggage from the Spanish security personnel accompanying him.

Said was escorted to an unknown location and brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution on charges of belonging to a banned group. He remained under enforced disappearance for 23 days. On 25 June the prosecution renewed his detention for 15 days pending an investigation into case No. 640 of 2018 state security, before it deported him to Tora prison.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights confirmed that Egypt's national security apparatus had pressured Said to ask his wife and daughters to go to Egypt. The Spanish authorities are also indirectly pushing the imam's family to leave Spain.

The Organisation stressed that the Islamic preacher opposed to the Egyptian regime is facing charges that could result in life imprisonment or execution, like thousands of opposition activists in Egypt.

Read: Drying up the sources of Egyptian press

The file handed over by the Spanish authorities to Egypt included fabricated investigations, including that Alaa Said visited Egypt during the rule of the deposed President Mohammed Morsi.

The organisation accused the Spanish authorities of committing serious violations against Said, "starting with manipulating his case with the help of his lawyer, who appears to be conspicuously conspiring – according to a preliminary reading of the case – [in his] torture, forced extradition to Egypt and preventing him from travelling to another country in addition to an obvious incitement against him by informing the Egyptian authorities that he belongs to a recurrently persecuted political group in Egypt, and ending up with his deportation to Egypt to face the [same] fate [faced by] tens of thousands of detainees opposed to the regime".

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