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Egypt state-run newspaper threatens that EIPR founder may 'vanish'

Newspaper stand in Cairo, Egypt on 17 May 17, 2011 [Kim Badawi/Getty Images]
Newspaper stand in Cairo, Egypt on 17 May 2011 [Kim Badawi/Getty Images]

An Egyptian state-run newspaper with ties to National Security has published a disturbing article about the founder and acting director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

"It is not unlikely for Hossam to suddenly vanish," wrote former editor Khaled Imam. "His followers would claim he was forcibly disappeared or detained. But if he does suddenly disappear then most certainly, he will have joined a terror group abroad."

An Egyptian state-run newspaper with ties to National Security has published a disturbing article about the founder and acting director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights [@hossambahgat/Twitter]

An Egyptian state-run newspaper with ties to National Security has published a disturbing article about the founder and acting director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights [@hossambahgat/Twitter]

The warning comes just days after three senior members of the EIPR were released following an international outcry.

They were arrested last month after meeting with Western diplomats to discuss human rights in Egypt.

Karim Ennarah, Gasser Abdel-Razek and Mohamed Basheer were kept in pretrial detention on charges of terrorism and spreading false news.

Abdel-Razek was singled out for particularly bad treatment and was being kept in solitary confinement. Their arrest drew wide condemnation from European and US politicians and even Hollywood celebrity Scarlett Johansson.

A panel of three senior judges in a terror court froze their personal assets, despite the decision to release them.

READ: Egypt rights group head hopes prison release will help other prisoners

The EIPR documents systematic violations carried out by the Egyptian regime and in November released a report on the rising number of executions being carried out by the regime.

Patrick Zaki, a researcher with the EIPR who was arrested at Cairo Airport at the beginning of this year and tortured, remains in jail and was not mentioned during the court session.

In September the Egyptian Commission for Human Rights said 2,723 Egyptians had been forcibly disappeared in five years.

Forcibly disappeared Egyptians have been extrajudicially killed and also tortured. If they are forcibly disappeared, it gives them less access to legal rights to prove they were ill-treated whilst detained.

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