Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression

For periods up to more than two years, in some cases, 5 creators have been detained because of exercising their right to freedom of creativity. The accusations against detained creators are summarized in: belonging to a terrorist group, promoting its ideas, spreading false news and information, and the disclosure of military secrets. These are unsubstantiated accusations that are not based on serious evidence or investigations, so it is easy to charge anyone exercising their inherent right to freedom of creativity with such accusations. AFTE calls for the immediate release of creators who were detained because of exercising their right to freedom of creativity, especially in light of the outbreak of the “Covid-19” epidemic and the danger it poses to the lives of prisoners.

Mohamad Hawas

Hawas, the owner of Daad publishing house, was arrested after publishing a collection of poetry entitled “The Earth’s Best Women” written by the poet Jalal Al-Behairi.

Hawas was detained after he faced charges of possessing publications that include false news and rumors, and associating with the first defendant in insulting the Egyptian Army by printing this collection. On July 31, 2018, the Military Court sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 10000 EGP.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: March 3, 2018.

Legal Status: The Military Court sentenced him to 3 years in prison.

Lawsuit Number: 4/2018 Administrative Misdemeanor Military Prosecutor.

Khaled Lotfy

Khaled Lotfy is the director and founder of Tanmia, the bookstore and publishing house.
He was arrested in April 2018 on accusations of revealing military secrets and spreading rumors.
On December 24, 2019, the Military Court of Cassation rejected Lotfy’s final appeal against his five-year prison sentence for publishing an Egyptian edition of the book “The Angel, the Egyptian Spy who saved Israel” about Ashraf Marwan, the son-in-law of the former President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The case goes back to September 2017, when a police force of Art Works stormed Tanmia publishing house and arrested one of its workers, under the pretext of publishing and distributing a book in violation of the publishing standards. Aftermath, Tanmiea’s officials destroyed 2,000 copies, the entire printed copies of the book at issue.

In December 2017, the incident was referred to the Military Court, instead of the Economic Court that has jurisdiction on settling disputes of intellectual property and infringing the publishing standards, following the law. Later on, the Military Prosecutor summoned the publisher, Khaled Lotfy, to investigate the incident and ordered his detention.

In October 2018, the Military Court issued the first instance verdict that sentenced Lotfy to 5 years in prison, and in February 2019, the decision was upheld. Later, on December 24, 2019, the Military Court of Cassation rejected Lotfy’s final appeal against his five-year prison sentence.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: April 2018.

Legal Status: The Military Court sentenced him to 5 years in prison.

Lawsuit Number: 1298/2018 Misdemeanor Military of North.

Mostafa Gamal Kamel

On March 1, 2018, the police forces arrested Gamal from his home in the 6th of October district, but he was not brought before the State Security Prosecution until March 4.

The State Security Prosecution accused the graphic designer of joining a terrorist group and spreading false news, ordering his imprisonment pending investigation in Case 480/2018 Supreme State Security, known in the media as the “Date Song.”

The case of the “Balha (Date) Song” came after singer Ramy Essam published a video clip titled: “Balha” (Date) attacking the current president, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The case involved 7 defendants, the prosecution has released five of them at different times.

Gamal, who used to provide services related to managing Ramy Essam’s social media pages until 2015, exceeded on March 5, 2020, two years in pretrial detention pending the case, which requires his release for exceeding the legally stipulated period of pretrial detention. Moreover, communication between him and Ramy Essam was cut off several years before the production of the video clip, which is the subject matter of the case for which he is detained.

On May 31, 2020, the Public Prosecution ordered Mustafa’s release for over two years, but the decision to release him was not implemented.
On June 5, 2020, Mustafa disappeared while completing the procedures for his release in the second division of October 6 district. Mustafa has forcibly disappeared until he appeared in the State Security Prosecution, in the Fifth Settlement, east of Cairo, on July 17, 2020, pending the State Security Case 730/2020, so the State Security Prosecution resumed his detention pending the new case with the same charges of the previous case, pending investigations.

On January 4, 2021, Supreme State Security Prosecution issued a decision to release Mustafa, pending investigation in Case No. 730 of 2020 State Security Prosecution, charged of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, but the decision was not executed, as he was re-charged for the second time on January 19, 2021, pending investigations Case No. 65 of 2021 State Security Prosecution, to the same accusations in the previous two cases and ordered his detention for fifteen days pending investigation.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: March 1, 2018.

Legal Status: Pretrial Detention, Exceeded the maximum legal detention period.

Lawsuit Number: 480/2018 Supreme State Security.

Motaaz Abd Al-Wahab

On October 18, 2020, director Moataz Abdel Wahab appeared before the State Security Prosecution, charged in pending new Case No. 855 of 2020 State Security Prosecution, day after the decision to release him in pending Case No. 586 of 2020 State Security Prosecution, on October 5, 2020, but the Authorities Security did not execute the decision to release him. Until now, we didn’t know the accusation faced by Abdel Wahab.

On May 5, 2020, the police forces arrested Abd Al-Wahab from his company office in Degal Al Maady district, Cairo. He was brought before the State Security Prosecution, in Fifth Settlement, for the first time on May 11. The prosecution charged him with joining a terrorist group and broadcasting false news, and ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigations in the lawsuit No. 586/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Abdel Wahab established One Team Productions Company, in 2010, specialized in making documentaries, short films, movies, TV visual reports. The company produced several films, most notably, When We’re Born – Lamma Bnetweled- which won the Best Movie award in the forty-sixth session of the Cairo Film Society’ festival. And also, Sayed Hegab in 2010, Altayeb: a Homeland Autobiography in 2012, and The Heart of Cairo City in 2020. He previously worked as production manager at Al Ahram Agency for Advertising and Orbit TV.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: May 5, 2020.

Legal Status: Pretrial Detention.

Lawsuit Number: 586/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Jalal Al-Behairi

On March 3, 2018, the Cairo Airport’s security forces arrested the Egyptian poet, Jalal Al-Behairi, after he arrived from abroad. He was brought before the State Security Prosecution for investigations in lawsuit No. 480/2018 Supreme State Security, AKA: Balha Song Case. Al-Behairi faced charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and insulting the President of the Republic. The prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigation. Then, on April 17, 2019, he was released under precautionary measures, and, eventually,  the State Security Prosecution lifted these measures on February 24, 2020.

On the other hand, the Military Prosecution initiated another investigation with Al-Behairi, on the next day of the arrest, because of writing a collection of poetry entitled “The Earth’s Best Women”, which included Balah Song. The prosecution ordered his detention on charges of spreading false news and rumors on the Egyptian Armed Forces and insulting the Egyptian Army via publishing a book includes insults to the Egyptian Army, in lawsuit No. 4/2018 Administrative Misdemeanor Military Prosecutor.

On July 31, 2018, the Military Court sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 10000 EGP. Then, the Court of Cassation repealed the fine while maintaining the sentence in prison.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: March 3, 2018.

Legal Status: The Military Court sentenced him to 3 years in prison.

Lawsuit Number: 4/2018 Administrative Misdemeanor Military Prosecutor.

For periods up to more than two years, in some cases, 12 journalists have been detained because of practicing their profession, the essence of which is revealing facts and free expression of opinion. The accusations against detained journalists are summarized in: belonging to a terrorist group, promoting its ideas, and spreading false news and information. These are unsubstantiated accusations that are not based on serious evidence or investigations, so it is easy to charge anyone exercising their inherent right to freedom of expression with such accusations. AFTE calls for the immediate release of journalists who were detained because of practicing their profession, especially in light of the outbreak of the “Covid-19” epidemic and the danger it poses to the lives of prisoners.

Hamdy Atef Hesham AbdelFattah

On January 4, 2021, the police forces arrested Hamdy Atef, journalist, from his home in Zefta, Gharbia Governorate. Hamdy was forcibly disappeared in the National Security headquarters of Gharbia for a week, until he appeared before the State Security Prosecution in the Fifth Settlement, Cairo, on January 11. The State Security Prosecution charged him with joining a terrorist group, publishing false news and data, and using an account on a social media site with the aim of spreading false news, in the Supreme State Security Case 1017/2020.

Hamdy, who is also a student in the fourth year of the Faculty of Arts in the Journalism Department, works as a trainee and a reporter for the Crime Section of Misr Al-Balad Newspaper. He also works as a correspondent for Al-Nabaa, Al-Bayan and Al-Shura newspapers.

Atef was arrested because of covering the hypoxic crisis suffered by those infected with the Coronavirus in Zefta General Hospital, which led to the death of some of the patients.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: 4 january 2021

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number:1017/2020

Journalist and Presenter Tawfiq Abdel Wahed Ibrahim Ghanem

On the afternoon of Friday, May 21, 2021, a police force arrested journalist and presenter Tawfiq Ghanem from his home in 6th of October City, west of Giza governorate. After they searched the house and confiscated some of his personal belongings, including his personal phone and laptop, he was arrested without explaining any reasons for such, and he was taken to unknown place.

Ghanem remained in illegal detention for four days before appearing at the State Security Prosecution in the First Settlement, on May 26, 2021. During that period, his family sent a telegraph to the Attorney General with details of the incident of his arrest. Two days later, his lawyer submitted a report to the Attorney General demanding to know his place of detention and to be presented quickly before the competent prosecution, in addition to enabling his family to see him.

The State Security Prosecution charged Ghanem with accusations, including; Joining a banned group, spreading false news and misusing the social media to commit a crime. And decided to detain him for 15 days pending investigations in Case No. 283 of 2021 State Security Prosecution.

During the investigations, Ghanem did not face any facts or exhibits related to the subject of the accusation, but he was asked about the history of his journalistic work and his intellectual opinions, according to what his family said.

Tawfiq Ghanem is a distinguished journalist and presenter with long career spanning more than thirty years, during which he held several journalistic positions, most notably; Leading the Media International Foundation, which administrating Islam Online website for ten years, and he served as director of the regional office of Anadolu Agency in Cairo, he decided to retire in 2015. Since the retirement he stopped all journalistic and media activities

Tawfiq who is 66-year-old suffers from multiple health problems including diabetes that require proper medical care and a daily schedule of medications.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date:May 21, 2021

Legal Status:Pretrial detention pending investigations

Lawsuit Number:238 of 2021 State Security Prosecution

Journalist Sayed Abd Ellah

Sayed Abd Ellah is a journalist in Suez governorate. He has worked as a reporter for a number of Egyptian websites, newspapers and channels, mainly, Albadil, Aldostor newspaper, CBC channels, and Azhari.

On September 22, 2019, the police forces raided Abd Ellah’s home in Suez governorate and arrested him. Abd Ellah’s whereabouts was unknown until he appeared in Zainhum Prosecution, in Sayeda Zeinab district, Cairo governorate, on September 25.

The State Security Prosecution charged Abd Ellah, who was detained pending further case investigation No. 1338, State Security Prosecution, of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and using an account on social media for the purpose of executing second crime.

Abd Ellah was arrested because of his coverage of the demonstrations erupting in Suez governorate on September 20, 2019, following an invitation made by Mohamed Ali, the Egyptian dissident residing in Spain.

On November 3, 2020, the Giza Criminal Court ordered the replacement of Abd Ellah’s pretrial detention with precautionary measures pending further investigations in the case.

Abd Ellah was deported to the Ataka Police Station in Suez governorate, to complete the procedures for his release, but he disappeared on November 13 and the Ministry of Interior denied knowing his whereabouts, which raised his family’s fears that he would be rotated and imprisoned pending a new case.

Indeed, Abd Ellah appeared in the Ataka Police Station on November 28, 2020, before he was deported the next morning to the State Security Prosecution for being charged in new case No. 1106 of 2020 State Security Prosecution.

Abd Ellah was charged for the same charges included in the first case, which the court ordered his release. The State Security Prosecution relied on an investigation report stating that the journalist was released on time and arrested from Almustaqbal Station on November 28, 2020, while inciting citizens to demonstrate.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: September 22, 2019

Lawsuit Number: 1106 of 2020 State Security Prosecution

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations

Presenter Khaled Helmy Ghoneim

On April 13, 2020, the police forces arrested the presenter Khaled Helmy Ghoneim from his home in Alexandria governorate, but he was not appeared to any judicial authority until he was appeared before the State Security Prosecution on April 28. As he enforcedly disappeared for about 15 days.

As the State Security Prosecution charged him of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and statements aimed at spreading terror among members of society, and misusing social media.

The State Security Prosecution’s investigation with Ghoneim was based on his post on the social media site Facebook criticizing the blackout of the Alexandria Health Directorate about injuries to a number of doctors working in quarantine at Al-Agami Hospital, before ordering his detention for 15 days, pending investigations in the lawsuit.

Khaled Helmy Ghoneim, 59 years old, presents the talk show television program “Al-Moshaakis”, which is broadcast on Masr Al-Hayah channel.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: April 13, 2020

Lawsuit Number: 558 of 2020 State Security Prosecution

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations

Ahmad Shaker

A journalist in Rosalyousef newspaper.
On the early morning of November 28, 2019, the security forces arrested Shaker from his home in Qalyubia governorate. Then, he was brought before the State Security Prosecution, on November 30, to face charges of joining a terrorist group and publishing false news, in lawsuit N. 488/2019 State Security.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: November 28, 2019.

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations

Lawsuit Number: 488/2019 Exclusive State Security.

Ahmad Mohammad Ahmad Allam

A journalist and TV programs editor, worked for several Egyptian and Arab newspapers and TV channels such as, CBC, Al-Mayadeen, Al-Masry Al-youm, Assafir. He works now for Al-Karama newspaper.
On April 25, 2020, the police forces arrested Allam after storming his family home in Al-Ayyat, Giza. Allam’s whereabouts were unknown until he appeared before the State Security prosecution, in Fifth Settlement district. Allam is facing several charges, including Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news using Social Media Networks. The prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigations in lawsuit No. 558/2020 Exclusive State Security.
Allam’s prosecution is likely because he participated in preparing a video report, on Covid-19 situation in Egypt, for one of non-Egyptian TV channels.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: April 25, 2020.

Legal Status:Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number:558/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Amer Abdel Moneim Ahmed

Writer and journalist, he worked as managing editor of Al-Shaab newspaper, which was issued on behalf of the Labor Party.

On December 18, 2020, the police forces arrested Amer Abdel Moneim, from his home in the Haram district of the Giza Governorate.

The 57-year-old journalist was brought before the State Security Prosecution two days after his arrest on the 20th of the same month, pending investigations in the Supreme State Security Case 1017/2020, where the prosecution accused him of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, using a social media account with the intention of committing a crime. The prosecution ordered his arrest for 15 days pending investigations. Abdel Moneim suffers from several health conditions, most notable of which is diabetes, he also underwent two eye surgeries less than two months before his arrest.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date:4 December 2021

Legal Status:Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number: 1017/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Hamdy Mokhtar Ali “Hamdy Elzaeem”

On January 4, 2021, the security forces arrested photojournalist Hamdy Mokhtar, known as “Hamdi the Boss” after storming his home. It was not until the 16th of the same month that he was brought before the State Security Prosecution, pending investigations, in the Supreme State Security Case 955/2020. The prosecution charged Mokhtar with joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its objectives, spreading false news, and using an account on social media with the aim of spreading false news.

On January 6, two days after his arrest, Mokhtar was transferred to an isolation hospital in Abbasiya after he had shown symptoms of the Coronavirus. The added part is: Mokhtar was tested for Coronavirus, the sample had a negative result, revealing that he was not infected with the epidemic.

On January 8, his papers were transferred to the State Security Prosecution for investigation, but he could not be transferred due to his health condition.

It is worth noting, however, that this is not the first time for the police to arrest the 42-year-old photojournalist, as he was arrested in September 2016 while he was photographing a press report and remained in pretrial detention for more than a year and a half, as the court replaced his detention with precautionary measures in April of 2018.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date:4 january 2021

Legal Status:Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number:955/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Ismail Alexandrani

An investigative journalist and a researcher specialized in the marginalized communities issues in Egypt, mainly Sinai.

Alexandrani was arrested in Hurghada Airport, after he arrived from Berlin on November 29, 2015. On the same day, ALexandrani was brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, where he was subjected to interrogation for two days. Then the prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigations. It charged him with joining a banned group founded in violation of the Law provisions, Muslim Brotherhood, promoting for its ideas, and broadcasting false news and information on the situation in Sinai.

After 30 months of pretrial detention pending investigations, Alexandrani had been referred to the Military Court in Case No. 18/2018 Military Criminalities North of Cairo. On May 22, 2018, the Military Court sentenced Alexandrani to 10 years in prison. Then the military ruler approved the ruling on December 27, 2018.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: November 29, 2015

Legal Status: The Military Court sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Lawsuit Number: 18/2018 Military Criminalities North of Cairo.

Abd-Alrahman Awad Abd-Alsalam

A freelance journalist.
On January 2, 2019, the security forces arrested Abd-Alsalam with his colleague Muhamad mosbah, after recording an interview with the former parliament member, Muhamad Anwar Al-Sadat. The Ministry of Interior had denied the arrest until he appeared before the State Security prosecution, in Fifth Settlement, on January 13, 2019.

Abd-Alsalam is facing charges of joining a terrorist group and publishing false news, in lawsuit No. 1365/2018 Supreme State Security.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: January 2, 2019.

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number: 1365/2018 Exclusive State Security.

Muhamad Radwan Muhamad Ebrahim

A journalist and a blogger of Oxygen Masr blog, which covers Egyptian issues.
On September 21, 2019, Ebrahim disappeared from El-Basateen police station After presenting himself in, to fulfil his probation under precautionary measures, in lawsuit No. 621 / 2018. In which before, he was in custody, pending investigation from April 7, 2018, until the prosecution ordered his release on July 22, 2019.

The police station denied Ebrahim’s existence inside the station. And after 18 days of enforced disappearance, Ebrahim was brought before the State Security prosecution, in Fifth Settlement district, to face charges of misusing the online social networks in lawsuit No. 1365/2018 Supreme State Security. Ebrahim’s arrest followed his work on covering demonstrations against Al-Sisi’s regime.

On November 3, 2020, the Criminal Court decided Ibrahim’s release, but the court’s decision had not been implemented, and his lawyers were surprised that he was detained again pending a new third case that carried No. 855 of 2020 Supreme State Security
On the 11th of the same month. The State Security Prosecution accused Ibrahim of the same previous accusations, which including joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: September 21, 2019.

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number: 855/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Mostafa Al-Khateeb

A translator in Associated Press.
He was arrested from his home on October 13, 2019. The next day, Al-Khateeb was brought before the State Security Prosecution to face charges of joining a terrorist group and publishing false news, in the lawsuit No. 488/2019 State Security. Al-Khatib’s arrest is likely because of a report published by the Associated Press on the arrest of British students, who are in Egypt for academic purposes, coinciding with the authorities’ security measures to suppress demonstrations, the Egyptian contractor Mohamed Ali called for, against Al-Sisi’s regime.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: October 13, 2019.

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number: 488/2019 Exclusive State Security.

For periods up to more than two years, in some cases, 4 academics have been detained because of exercising their right to express their opinions and participate in public affairs. The accusations against detained academics are summarized in: belonging to a terrorist group, promoting its ideas, and spreading false news and information. These are unsubstantiated accusations that are not based on serious evidence or investigations, so it is easy to charge anyone exercising their inherent right to freedom of expression with such accusations. AFTE calls for the immediate release of academics who were detained because of practicing their work, especially in light of the outbreak of the “Covid-19” epidemic and the danger it poses to the lives of prisoners.

Prof. Magdi Qorqor

Qorqor is a professor and the head of the Environmental Planning and Infrastructure department in the faculty of Urban and Regional Planning, at Cairo University. He is also the secretary-general of the Istiqlal Party, an opposing party of Al-Sisi’s regime.

On September 23, 2019, he was arrested from his home, among many other leading members in the Istiqlal Party. He enforcedly disappeared for 12 days, as his family knew neither his whereabouts or the reason for his arrest until he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution for interrogation on charges of joining a terrorist group, pending lawsuit No. 1350/2019 Exclusive State Security.

This is not his first arrest during the Al-Sisi regime, He was arrested before on July 2, 2014, and accused of joining a terrorist group and inciting violence, but the Criminal Court ordered his release under precautionary measures on March 19, 2016.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: September 23, 2019.

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number: 1350/2018 Exclusive State Security.

Patrick George Zaki

An Egyptian postgraduate student at the University of Bologna- Italy, a researcher in gender issues, and a Human Rights advocator at EIPR, he was on study holiday from work when he was arrested.

On Friday, February 7, 2020, the National Security forces stopped Zaki at Cairo airport on his return home from Italy. Zaki was detained for more than 24 hours in one of the National Security premises in Cairo.

According to another interrogation record with Zaki, he stated that he was tortured during an illegal interrogation and was prevented from reaching out to his family or his lawyer.

On February 8, he was moved to Mansoura Prosecution. Then, the Mansoura prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigations in a lawsuit No. 7245/2019 Second Administrative Al-Mansoura.

George’s lawyers reviewed the arrest warrant issued on February 8, 2020, claiming that he had been arrested in a police ambush in the city of Mansoura based on an arrest warrant issued in 2019.

The Attorney General issued a statement states that State Security investigations had found, during the month of September, that gorge exploited his account on the social media website Facebook to spread false news and statements for the purpose of promoting rumors and incitement against state institutions. The Public Prosecution issued its permission to arrest George and search his home, but he was not found.

The investigating body submitted to the public Prosecution ten papers printed from George’s account on the social media website Facebook, described it as inflammatory publications against state institutions and symbols.

On March 7, one month after the arrest, the State Security prosecution initiated a new investigation with several accusations, including spreading false news, inciting to protest without permission, and inciting to commit terrorist crimes in lawsuit No. 1766/2020 Supreme State Security. Zaki is still in custody pending investigations.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: February 7, 2020.

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number: 1766/2020 Investigations State Security.

Doctor Ahmed AlTomahy AbdelHay

He was arrested on June 3, 2020,  but his whereabouts were unknown for 17 days, as he was forcibly disappeared at the Cairo National Security headquarters until he was brought before the Public Prosecution Office on June 20. He was imprisoned pending the Supreme State Security Case 649/2020 on charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and statements, and misusing social media.

The prosecution’s investigation with AlTohamy focused on his accusation of collaborating with the Egyptian activist Mohamed Sultan, who is residing in the United States, in the case Sultan filed against the former Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawy, which AlTohamy has denied before the investigating authorities.

AlTohamy has been suffering from poor detention conditions since his arrest, as he resides in a detention room inhibited by 30 people and is denied from exercise, he was also banned from receiving family visits until last October.

The Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed AlTohamy’s detention, without his presence at the prosecution office or enabling him to communicate with his lawyer.

AlTohamy is a researcher in comparative politics and international relations, working as an assistant professor of political science at the Faculty of Economic Studies and Political Science at Alexandria University since 2014. He previously worked as a researcher and then a professor at the National Institute for Social and Criminal Research in Cairo from 2000 until 2014 and a researcher at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies from 1996 until 2000. In 2019 he was a visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin. AlTohamy has published many writings in scientific periodicals.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date:3 June 2020

Legal Status:Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number:649/2020 Exclusive State Security.

Researcher Ahmed Samir Santawy

On February 6, 2021, the State Security Prosecution ordered the detention of the researcher and master’s student, Ahmed Samir, for 15 days pending investigations in the State Security Case 65/2021. Samir is accused of joining a terrorist group, publishing false news that harm security and public order, and using an account on a social media site with the purpose of spreading false news.

The State Security Prosecution confronted Santawy with some photographs of posts on the social networking site “Facebook”, to which he responded by denying his connection to these posts or the account attributed to him. During the prosecution’s investigations, Santawy complained that he was subjected to ill-treatment and torture while being interrogated by National Security officers, on account of which, his defense team requested that he be referred to forensic medicine to prove the violations he had suffered.

Santawy is an Egyptian researcher and master’s student at the Central European University in the Austrian capital Vienna “CEU”, where he studies anthropology and social sciences since September 2019.

The twenty-nine-year-old student returned to Egypt on vacation to visit his family and friends in mid-December 2020 via Sharm el-Sheikh airport, where the security authorities first arrested him, illegally interrogating him about the reasons for his travel and his fields of study, before they allowed him to leave.

On January 23, 2021, a National Security force raided the house of Santawy’s family in the Fifth Settlement district, east of Cairo, while he was on vacation in South Sinai. The security forces searched Santawy’s house and photographed the identification papers of those present in the house. They asked his family to inform him that he should go to the Fifth Settlement Police Station. They also seized the recording device of the property’s monitoring system.

On the 30th of the same month, Santawy went to the Fifth Settlement Police Station in response to the aforementioned request, but they asked him to return to his home and come back the next day, which is what Santawy did. Yet he was detained and there was no official information about him since that date until he was brought before the State Security Prosecution on February 6, 2021, during which he moved between several police headquarters, including the National Security Office inside the Fifth Settlement Station, where he was held until the morning of February 3, after which he was transferred to the First Settlement Station, before being transferred to an unknown location on the evening of Thursday February 4.

Meanwhile, the President of the Central European University, Michael Ignatieff, called on the Egyptian authorities to release Santawy and allow him to return to his family and study immediately, while the European Association of Social Anthropologists “EASA” issued a statement in which it expressed its concern about the Egyptian authorities’ detention of Santawy, urging the authorities to take all necessary steps to ensure the prompt and safe release of Santawy, as well as maintain respect for his legal rights.

On 23 February 2021, the Supreme State Security Prosecution completed the investigation with Ahmed Samir and charged him with financing a terrorist group, without clarifying what this group is and what Santawy’s relationship with it is.
Ahmed Samir Santawy complained that he was placed in incommunicado since his entry into Liman Tora Prison, and there is no equipment was entered for him, or that he was allowed to purchase from the prison canteen, despite his family depositing money in the prison canteens.

Santawy mentioned before the prosecution that he was physically assaulted by the deputy warden of Tora Liman prison on the day before he was summoned by the prosecution again, which lead the legal defense team to request medical examine by the forensic medical and investigate the incident.

On May 22, 2021, the State Security Prosecution summoned Santawy for interrogation in a new Case No. 877 of 2021 State Security Prosecution. The Prosecution charged him with the same accusations in the case which he was imprisoned, which is joining a terrorist group and spreading false news and statements aimed at disrupting security and public order, before ordering to detention him for 15 days, starting after the end of his imprisonment on the first case.

On May 29, 2021, the State Security Prosecution had referred Santawy, to a speedy trial before supreme state security court, on charging in new case, which was summoned for investigation during his imprisonment, pending case No. 744 of 2021 State Security Prosecution, on charges of spreading false news from abroad about the domestic situation in Egypt, pending case No. 774 of 2021 supreme State Security, the first trial session will be held on June 1, 2021.

On June 22, 2021, the State Security Emergency Misdemeanour Court, sentenced Santawy to four years in prison and a fine of 500 EGP in Case No. 774 of 2021 Emergency State Security Misdemeanors, registered under No. 877 of 2021 supreme State Security Prosecution. This court’s ruling cannot be appealed because it was issued by the State Security Emergency Misdemeanour Court, which is an exceptional court to which the accused are referred under the application of the state of emergency. However, the President of the Republic can repeal the sentence, mitigate it, re-trial, or ratify it in accordance with the emergency law.

To read the methodology click here.

Arrest Date: 1 February 2020

Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Lawsuit Number:56/2021