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Egypt ‘forcibly disappears’ pro-Palestine student activist

May 13, 2024 at 1:54 pm

Student activist Ziad Al-Basiouni was arrested on 9 May 2024 on terror charges over support for Palestine [Facebook]

Egyptian security officials arrested student activist Ziad Al-Basiouni in the early hours last Thursday after a post on his personal Facebook page urging students to stand with Palestine and support the boycott movement. He has, said his friends and family, been “forcibly disappeared” by the Egyptian regime.

“At dawn on Thursday, a large force from the National Security Service, including masked men, stormed our apartment violently, breaking our door,” explained Al-Basiouni’s mother, journalist Fayza Hindawi. “They threatened us with machine guns, they took our phones, terrorised us, and tore apart every corner of the house for two full hours.”

All of this, she pointed out, came after her son Ziyad posted on social media calling for a student movement for Palestine and supporting the boycott. “He did not call for opposition to the [Al-Sisi] regime or call for violence. He was treated like a criminal and arrested one week before his exams, and since then we have not heard anything about him.”

Hindawi said that she and her family followed the advice of friends and kept quiet about the incident while they made enquiries to seek his release. “However, promises to release him were not kept. After we failed to reach him for the fourth day in a row, silence was no longer an option.” She duly wrote an article about what happened last Thursday, under the headline “I only want to check on my son”.

Other details were revealed by Khaled, Ziad’s brother, a former detainee, and a law as well as a member of the former Supreme Committee of Al-Karama Party.

“The door of the house was broken down and automatic weapons were pointed in our faces without us knowing what was happening,” he said. “After completely searching the contents of our house and breaking and destroying everything for two hours, we discovered that Ziad was arrested in the street in front of our home. He is a student at the Institute of Folk Art at the Academy of Arts, and is not involved in any political activity other than belief in the Palestinian cause and solidarity with the Palestinian people who are being subjected to genocide.”

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