Human rights advocates are not safe in Egypt, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said earlier this week, noting that they are regularly detained and tortured.
In a statement, HRW said that there has been a â€śserious escalationâ€ť against human rights activists and groups.
On 7 February 2020, Egyptian authorities detained Patrick George Zaki, a researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), HRW said, pointing out he was held incommunicado for roughly 24 hours and subjected to torture, including with electric shocks.
The rights group also reported its source saying Zaki was held in two unofficial National Security Agency detention sites, in Cairo and Al-Mansoura, where interrogators questioned him extensively about his activism and the EIPR.
â€śInstead of facilitating the much-needed work of human rights defenders like Patrick George Zaki, security forces detained and allegedly tortured him,â€ť saidÂ Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.
Stork added: â€śPresident Abdel Fattah Al-Sisiâ€™s government seems intent on emphasizing that no one is immune from the security servicesâ€™ brutal hand.â€ť
After 24 hours, prosecutors ordered Zaki be detained pending an investigation, accusing him of actions including â€ścalling for protests without permissionâ€ť, â€śspreading false newsâ€ť and inciting violence and terrorism.