Egypt’s prosecution has ordered that detained Egyptian-Palestinian activist Ramy Shaath be released from jail.
Ramy has been detained since 5 July 2019 after security forces arrested him from his flat without a warrant and accused him of assisting a terror group as part of the Alliance of Hope, a then upcoming political block which planned to run in the elections.
In 2020 authorities added him to a terror list, alongside other political prisoners including former member of parliament Zyad Elelaimy, banned him from travelling and froze his assets.
A panel of United Nations experts later called for the removal of Ramy and Zyad from the list and criticised it as an attempt to “attack individuals engaged in human rights work.”
His wife, Celine Lubrun-Shaath, was deported back to her home country of France. Judicial and security forces have said that after he is released Ramy will be deported to France.
Ramy is a former consultant to the late Yasser Arafat and in 2015 co-founded the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement in Egypt. He is also son of the former acting Palestinian Prime Minister Nabil Shaath.
In the past, Ramy sued the Interior Ministry after Egyptian authorities refused to renew his passport on the grounds that he was Palestinian and not Egyptian.
After he was arrested Egypt’s state-run media ran a smear campaign against him alleging he was Palestinian and had allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.
His arrest is believed to be related to his work over BDS and his criticism of the Egyptian government’s decision to take part in a Manama workshop which unveiled the US’ economic component of the proposed ‘deal of the century’.
Throughout his imprisonment Celine dedicated her life to campaigning for her husband including after his father’s health deteriorated whilst he was inside. His sister had a heart attack whilst he was imprisoned from the stress of his detention.
Ramy’s arrest follows the release of several high-profile figures from jail in Egypt.
Roughly one month ago, authorities freed activist and former EIPR researcher Patrick Zaki after 22 months. Patrick was arrested in 2020 whilst on a trip home from Italy where he was studying for his masters. He was beaten and tortured by electric shock.
On 31 December Ola Qaradawi returned home after being held in pre-trial detention since June 2017 after she became part of a geopolitical conflict between Qatar, her home, and Egypt after the blockade on Doha.
Roughly 65,000 political prisoners remain detained in Egypt where they are held in alarming conditions including being subject to systematic torture.
There has been a rise in suicides in Egypt’s prisons as detainees despair at their conditions, in particular the near total ban on loved ones visiting.
Last year in August political activists Mocha and Oxygen tried to commit suicide and Alaa Abdelfattah was reported to be suicidal after his mental health deteriorated.