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UN: Systematic involuntary disappearances continue in Egypt

Image of Egyptian police [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]
Egyptian police [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

Egypt’s security forces continue to carry out “systematic forced disappearances” against rights activists and many citizens, the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) announced yesterday.

“The Egyptian authorities have not cooperated with the UN on resolving the issue,” WGEID added.

The Geneva-based Committee for Justice has said that the UN’s Committee on Enforced “recently worked on the largest number of complaints of enforced disappearances in Egypt since its establishment in the 1980s “with around 173 urgent cases.”

“There are 285 cases which have not yet been reviewed by WGEID, but the Egyptian government has cleared the circumstances of 54 cases,” the committee.

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During the time from August 2017 – August 2018, the number of enforced disappearances in Egypt reached 1,989 cases, Committee for Justice noted, adding that the number of cases which were monitored was 1,830. “The number of cases documented by our team was 318 cases, while the number of complaints submitted to the international organisations was 141 complaints,” the committee pointed out.

WGEID slammed what it described as “the Egyptian government’s lengthy response” to its urgent appeal on 3 October 2017 regarding the arrest of the Egyptian lawyer and human rights defender Ibrahim Metwally, who was captured at Cairo airport on 10 September while boarding a plane to Switzerland to attend the group’s 113th meeting.

“Ibrahim Metwally’s detention and charges placed against him indicate retaliation for his collaboration with the UN Human Rights Council and a deliberate obstruction of his legitimate right to seek information about the whereabouts of his family,” the UN working group stressed.

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