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Egypt: 2,723 enforced disappearances in 5 years

September 7, 2020 at 2:59 pm

A picture taken during a guided tour organised by Egypt’s State Information Service on February 11, 2020, shows an Egyptian police officer entering the Tora prison in the Egyptian capital Cairo. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

There have been 2,723 enforced disappearances in five years in Egypt, according to a report released by the Egyptian Commission for Human Rights.

These people have been forcibly disappeared for various amounts of time inside the National Security Headquarters and other official and unofficial detention facilities.

Egyptian security services continue to deny that they forcibly disappear citizens, despite the evidence presented by NGOs and international organisations, including the UN.

The report details the difficulty faced by the families of relatives when trying to clarify information about where their loved ones are being held.

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It also outlines how the public prosecution and supreme state security prosecution have evolved from independent judicial authorities to facilitating violations against the forcibly disappeared.

These bodies stop victims access their legal rights and helps disprove that they were ill-treated whilst forcibly disappeared including torture.

Forcibly disappeared victims have been extrajudicially killed by the Ministry of Interior since 2014, confirms the report, including by being tortured or shot despite claims that they were simply killed in an exchange of gunfire with the police.

The report recommends that the Egyptian government recognise the role played by security services in forcible disappearance and torture and hold them accountable.

It also recommended legislation be passed criminalising enforced disappearance.