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Calls for Egypt to release details of whereabouts of forcibly disappeared lawmaker

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]
An Egyptian police officer enters the Tora prison in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 11 February 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Human rights defender Aida Seif Al-Dawla called on Wednesday for Egyptian authorities to reveal the whereabouts of forcefully disappeared lawmaker and opposition politician, Mustafa Al-Najjar, who has been missing for four years.

Al-Dawla said that for the past four years, multiple sources have confirmed that Mustafa is alive and is being held by the state "in places, the mere mention of their name raises fear".

"We demand his release and we hold the state fully responsible for his safety, and we demand the National Council for Human Rights play its role, and we also ask the gentlemen gathered in the national dialogue to make some effort to reveal the fate of yesterday's comrade," she added in a post on her Facebook account.

She pointed out that Al-Najjar is a former member of the People's Assembly who has thousands of followers who had elected and supported him and wish to know his fate.

"He is also one of the most prominent faces of the January 2011 revolution. Moreover, he is a father and husband who has been absent from his home and children for four years, and his mother's heart is broken by her fear of him," she said.

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Al-Dawla appealed to "anyone with a shred of conscience or humanity to try to help find Mustafa Al-Najjar's whereabouts."

In September 2018, Mustafa went missing following an "alleged attempt" to escape across the southern border of Egypt towards Sudan, according to stories which circulated on social media at the time.

Other reports claimed he was killed while crossing the border, however his family and supporters reject that hypothesis since his body was never found.

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