During the past seven years, the Egyptian judicial authorities, and in particular the Supreme State Security Prosecution, have used pretrial detention as a tool to harass opponents of the current political system at the hands of the security services, regardless of their orientation.
This pattern of violation is no longer restricted to political activists, journalists, or those interested in political or public work, but it has become the main tool for intimidating the wider public in an attempt to promote self-censorship among citizens and prevent them from expressing their opinions on any subject, specially if it contradicts the official narratives of the government, especially in the realms of social media, which has become the only outlet for citizens to express their opinions in light of the crackdown on all outlets in fear of an inevitable imprisonment without being convicted or even any legal evidence of violating the laws.
This pattern of violations is a clear breach of the purpose of pretrial detention, which is stipulated in the Criminal Code of Procedure as well as the regulations governing its use and its alternatives. Instead of legitimately applying precautionary detention as a precautionary measure to stand guard of investigations or the course of the trial, especially in cases where it is feared that the defendant may use leverage or authority to influence the investigation or trial, such as tampering with evidence, it is used as a punitive measure.
The Criminal Procedure Code also gave the judicial authorities several alternatives to pretrial detention, which are stipulated in Article 201 of the law; such as obliging the defendant not to leave his home or domicile, or to present himself to the police headquarters at specific times, or to be prohibited from going to specific places. Whereas, in the event that the defendant violates any of these alternatives, the same law allows the judicial authorities to re-imprison him. Those alternatives established by the law also indicate the legislator’s keenness to use pretrial detention in a restrictive manner, when there is fear of the defendant’s serious ability to tamper with the progress of investigations or trial.
However, as we mentioned earlier, the judicial and security devices have sidestepped pretrial detention to use it for purposes irrelevant to the reasons behind its legalization. Furthermore, the authorities circumvent the law which does not permit the continued pretrial detention for more than two years pending the same case, as then the judicial authorities are required to release defendants immediately. To counter that, the authorities re-investigated defendants directly after their release and imprison them again pending a new case. So that while the decision is being issued to release the defendants in cases where their imprisonment had exceeded two years and the procedures are being finalized, the security forces take them to unknown areas without disclosing any official information, only for them to appear later before the State Security Prosecution pending a new case with the same accusations from which he was released in the older case, which is commonly known now as “recycling”.
The majority of those arrested for expressing their opinions are accused of the same charges, even those who are rotated into new cases, are re-accused with the same chargess from which they were released; joining a terrorist group, publishing false news and statements, and using an account on one of the social media accounts with the aim of committing another crime, without any evidence of those accusations being provided. The State Security Prosecution relies only on investigations carried out by the National Security Agency to prove such allegations.
The use of pre-trial detention in this repressive form has significantly intensified during the past seven years to the extent of stirring several factions to address it as one of the most important violations facing freedom of expression in Egypt, which prompted the National Council for Human Rights to issue a statement in mid-April 2017 in which it called on the Egyptian authorities “to find a solution to this problem in particular, as a person may be remanded in custody, and after a long period of imprisonment, and then he is found out to be innocent, and thus he has been punished for a crime he did not commit.”
In addition to that, 31 countries issued a statement on the sidelines of the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in March 2021, calling on the Egyptian government to “stop the excessive use of pretrial detention,” as it noted the expansion of pretrial detention procedures, and the inclusion of detainees in new cases on similar charges after the expiration of the legal period for their pretrial detention.
It can be said that the national strategy for human rights initiated by the Egyptian government under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah ElSisi means that the government recognizes that there is a real problem with regard to pretrial detention, which calls for reinforcing the guarantees pertaining to the regulations of pretrial detention and the periods stipulated for it in national laws.
AFTE welcomes any step, even a simple one, in order to stop the systematic violations carried out by the Egyptian authorities against citizens for expressing their opinions, a right guaranteed to them by the Egyptian Constitution and all the international treaties that Egypt has ratified. It monitors the executive measures taken by the government. In order to achieve what it committed itself to in this strategy, which has not shown any signs so far, despite the ease of many procedures to implement many of those decisions, especially the immediate release of thousands of citizens, including journalists, academics, creatives, and citizens from all walks of life whose only crime was expressing their opinions on social media.
AFTE, which provides legal support to victims of freedom of expression, especially those who are subjected to pretrial detention, presents to the competent authorities, whether those implementing the national strategy for human rights or the judicial authorities, a list of citizens who are undergoing pretrial detention as a means of punishment for expressing their opinions, as an example for thousands of citizens who are subjected to this violation on a regular basis, hoping for their release or using any alternatives to pretrial detention stipulated in the law.
|م||Name||Job||Targeting File||Date of arrest||Date of first presentation to the prosecution||Case Number||Accusations||Number of Case-rotation||Duration of arrest|
|1||Amer AbdelMonem Ahmed||Journalist and editor-in-chief of Al-Shaab newspaper||Freedom of press||18 December 2020||20 December 2020||Case 1017/ 2020 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group – using a social media account to spread false news||0||1Year|
|2||Rabee Mohamed AbdelWahed “Rabee ElSheikh”||Al Jazeera journalist||Freedom of press||1 August 2021||1 August 2021||Case 1365/ 2018 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group, participating in financing the activities of that group and spreading false news and statements||0||5 Months|
|3||Sayed Mohamed Abdellah||Reporter||Freedom of press||22 September 2019||25 September 2019||Case 1338/2019 (Supreme State Security)||joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and using social media account for the purpose of carrying out a second crime||0||2 years and 3 months|
|4||Tawfeek AbdelWahed Ibrahim||Retired journalist and broadcaster||Freedom of press||21 May 2021||26 May 2021||Case 238/2021 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a prohibited group, spreading false news and misusing a social network to commit a crime||0||7 months|
|5||Ahmed Mohamed Ahmed Allam||Journalist at Al Karama newspaper and former TV producer||Freedom of press||25 April 2020||27 April 2020||Case 558/2020 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and using a means of social media to carry out a second crime||0||1 year and 8 months|
|6||Mohamed Radwan Mohamed Ibrahim (oxygen)||Journalist and blogger of “Oxygen Egypt” blog||Freedom of press||21 September 2019||11 November 2020||Case 855/2020 State Security||Joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes, misusig social networking sites||2||2 years and 3 months|
|7||Khaled Helmi Ghoneim||Broadcaster on Misr Al-Hayat channel||Freedom of press||13 April 2020||28 April 2020||Case 558/2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news aimed at terrorizing society, and misusing social media||0||One year and 8 months|
|8||Hamdi Mokhtar Ali “AlZaeem”(leader)||Photojournalist||Freedom of press||4 Jan 2021||16 Jan 2021||Case 955/2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes, spreading false news, and using an internet account with the aim of spreading false news||0||11 months|
|9||Mostfa Alkhateeb||Translator for the Associated Press.||Freedom of press||13 October 2019||14 October 2019||Case 488/2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news||0||2 years, 2 months|
|10||Ahmed AlTohami AbdelHay||Researcher in comparative politics and international relations||Academic Freedom||June 3, 2020||June 20, 2020||Case 649/2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media||0||1 year, 6 months|
|11||Mohamed Magdi Ali Hamed Korkor||Professor and Head of the Department of Environmental Planning and Infrastructure, Faculty of Urban Planning, Cairo University||Academic Freedom||23 September 2019||5 October 2019||Case 1350/2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group||0||2 years, 3 months|
|12||Mostafa Gamal||Graphic Designer||Creative Freedom||1 March 2018||19 January 2021||Case 65/2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group and spreading false news||2||3 years, 8 months|
|13||Galal AbdelFattah Albeheriy||Poet||Creative Freedom||3 March 2018||5 September 2021||Case 2000 /2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and insulting the President of the Republic||1||3 years, 8 months|
|14||Mootaz Abdel Wahab||Director||Creative Freedom||5 May 2020||18 October 2020||Case 855 /2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, publishing false news||1||A year, 7 months|
|15||Amr Nohan Nabeeh Youssef||Lawyer||Human Rights Defenders||10 June 2019||13 June 2019||Case 741 /2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group||0||2 years, 5 months|
|16||Mohamed Hassan AlBaker||Executive Director of the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms||Human Rights Defender||29 September 2019||29 September 2019||Case 1356 /2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, publishing false news and misuing social media||1||2 years, 3 months|
|17||Mohamed Ramadan AbdelBaset||Lawyer||Human Rights Defenders||10 December 2018||11 December 2018||Case 16576/2018 Montza First Administrative Court||Joining a terrorist group – Promoting its purposes using publications – Spreading false news||2||3 years|
|18||Mohamed Salah AbdelAziz||Journalist||Human Rights Defenders||29 Nov 2019||30 Nov 2019||Case 488/2019||Joining and financing a terrorist group and spreading false news||1||2 years, a month|
|19||Ahmed Khaled ElToukhy||Masscommunication Student at AlAzhar University||Student Freedom||26 September 2020||19 June 2021||Case 955/2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group with the knowledge of its purposes, publishing false news that may harm security and public order, using an account on “Facebook” for the purpose of publishing false news||1||A year, 3 months|
|20||Kholoud Said Mohamed Ibrahim Amer||Head of the Translation Department at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Publishing Department – translator and researcher||Digital Rights||21 April 2020||28 April 2020||Case 1017 /2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group and deliberately spreading false news and using social media accounts on for the purpose of crime||1||A year, 7 months|
|21||Naglaa Fathi Fouad||Party coordinator||Digital Rights||14 June 2020||18 June 2020||Case 535/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Belonging to a terrorist group, deliberately spreading false news, and misuse of social media||1||A year, 5 months|
|22||Mostafa Mohamed Safwat||Social worker – former treasurer of the Wafd Party||Digital Rights||4 January 2021||9 January 2021||Case 1017/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Belonging to a banned group and spreading false news||0||11 months|
|23||Hossam Shaaban Ahmed||Surgeon||Digital Rights||15 May 2021||1 June 2021||Case 910 /2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group and spreading false news||0||7 months|
|24||Moataz Muhammad Al-Sayed Hasab Al-Nabi||Lawyer||Digital Rights||12 July 2021||13 July 2021||Case 965 /2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group and spreading false news on Facebook to incite people||0||6 months|
|25||Alaa AbdelFattah||Programmer||Digital Rights||29 September 2019||29 September 2019||Case 1356/2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and misusing social media||1||2 years, 3 months|
|26||Sherif Ali Muhammad Ali Al-Rubi||Former spokesperson for April 6th movement||Digital Rights||9 December 2020||9 December 2020||Case 1111 / 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group and spreading false news||1||A year|
|27||Mohamed El-Sayed Mohamed Abu Samra||Undetermined||Digital Rights||30 December 2019||12 January 2020||Case 1956 / 2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and using a website with the intention of committing a crime||0||2 years|
|28||Marwa Ashraf Arafa||Translator||Digital Rights||20 April 2020||4 May 2020||Case 570/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes, and financing terrorism||0||A year, 7 months|
|29||Reda Abdul Rahman Ali||Teacher at an Azhar Institute – Quranic blogger||Digital Rights||22 August 2020||6 October 2020||Case 3418 / 2020 Emergency misdemeanors State Security||Joining the terrorist group ISIS, adopting takfiri ideolgy, and promoting them||0||A year, 4 months|
|30||Abdul Rahman Mohsen Muhammed||student||Digital Rights||June 2020||19 July 2020||Case 751/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining the “White Knights”||1||A year, 6 months|
|31||Mohamed Fathi Abdel Momen||Undetermined||Digital Rights||June 2020||19 July 2020||Case 751/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining the “White Knights”||1||A year, 6 months|
|32||Ayman Abdel Hamid Nasr||Undetermined||Digital Rights||June 2020||19 July 2020||Case 751 /2020 Supreme State Security||Joining the “White Knights”||0||A year, 6 months|
|33||Moataz Medhat Mahmoud||Undetermined||Digital Rights||June 2020||19 July 2020||Case 751/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining the “White Knights”||0||A year, 6 months|
|34||Sameh Ramadan Mohamed Seoudi||Member of Karama (Dignity)Party||Digital Rights||27 September 2019||10 November 2020||Case 855 / 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group||3||Two years, 3 months|
|35||Ramy Nabeel Shaath||Co-Founder of BDS movement||Digital Rights||5 July 2019||6 July 2019||Case 930 / 2019 Supreme State Security , the case is commonly Known as the “Hope Coalition”||Joining a terrorist group, or helping a terrorist group achieve its goals, financing terrorism, and spreading false news||0||2 years, 5 months|
|36||Hamed Seddik Sayed Mekki||Lawyer||Digital Rights||23 September 2019||29 September 2019||Case 1356/2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and misusing social media||0||2 years, 3 months|
|37||Waleed Ahmed Shawki||Dentist||Digital Rights||14 October 2018||6 October 2020||Case 880/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group||1||3 years, 2 months|
|38||Ayman AbdelMoati AbdelRasoul||Researcher, proofreader, director of advertising and marketing for Dar Al Maraya Publishing and Distribution, and owner of the blog “Write so that you are not alone”||Digital rights||18 October 2018||21 October 2021||Case 880/2020 Supreme State Security||Belonging to a terrorist group, participating in an illegal assembly, spreading false news, and using a social networking site for this purpose||2||3 years, 2 months|
|39||Hassan Mostafa AbdelFatah||Bookshop owner||Digital rights||11 December 2019||25 December 2019||Case 1898/2019 Supreme State Security||Promoting a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media||0||2 years|
|40||Ahmed Hassanien Mohamed Mousa||Undetermined||Digital rights||1 October 2019||18 November 2019||Case 1475/2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, committing a financing crime, publishing false news, and misusing a social networking sites||0||2 years, 2 months|
|41||Ahmed Mahed Ezzat known as Rigo||Owner of a sound recording studio||Creative Freedom||4 May 2020||11 May 2020||Case 586/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes and spreading false news||0||A year, 7 months|
|42||Mohamed Mamdouh AbdelHaleem||Undetermined||Digital rights||1 October 2019||18 November 2020||Case 855 /2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, broadcasting false news, and misusing social media||1||2 years, a month|
|43||Belal AbdelRazzek Abdel Maqsoud||Undetermined||Digital rights||1 March 2019||1 March 2019||Case 488 /2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group and promoting its purposes, spreading false news, misusing means of communication to achieve this purpose||0||2 years, 8 months|
|44||Mohamed Abdellah Mekhamiar||Undetermined||Digital rights||First week of January 2020||February 2020||Case 1956/2019 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media||0||A year, 11 months|
|45||Noureldin Eid Shaker||Undetermined||Digital rights||23 June 2020||22 July 2020||Case 65 /2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, publishing false news, and using a social media site for that purpose.||1||A year, 6 months|
|46||Muhammad Safani Qubeisi Murzaq||Undetermined||Digital rights||13 December 2020||20 January 2021||Case 65 /2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, publishing false news, and using social media for that purpose.||1||A year|
|47||Hussein Ali Hussein||Undetermined||Digital rights||Undetermined||20 January 2021||Case 65/2021 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, publishing false news, and using a social media site for that purpose||1||11 months|
|48||Ahmed Mohamed Abu Khalil||Founder of Rawat Foundation||Digital rights||3 June 2020||13 June 2020||Case 558/ 2020 Supreme State Security||Joining a terrorist group, misusing social media, and spreading false news.||0||A year and 6 months|
|49||Mohamed Mahmoud Amer Abdel Aziz||Undetermined||Undetermined||15 October 2021||30 November 2021||Case 1984/2021 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group||0||2 months|
|50||Alaa Essam||Undetermined||Digital rights||28 June 2019||29 June 2019||Case 930 /2019 Supreme State Security & commonly known as the “Hope Coalition case”||Joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes and spreading false news||0||A year and 6 months|
|51||Mohamed Galal Zidan Farag||Student||Digital rights||9 October 2019||11 October 2019||Case 488/2019 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group and spreading and broadcasting false news||0||2 years, 2 months|
|52||Ahmed Yousry Ghaly||Undetermined||Digital rights||25 August 2020||27 August 2020||Case 855 /2020 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group and broadcasting false news||0||A year, three months|
|53||Yasser Essam Othman||Shop worker||Digital rights||7 June 2020||20 June 2020||Case 1116 /2020 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group and broadcasting false news||0||6 months|
|54||Mostafa Ali Sabra||Shop worker||Undetermined||20 September 2020||25 September 2020||Case 960/2020 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group and broadcasting false news||0||A year, 3 months|
|55||Ahmed Badwy AbdelHameed||Engineer||Digital rights||21 April 2019||30 April 2019||Case 674/2019 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group and broadcasting false news||0||2 years,8 months|
|56||Waleed Gaber Mohamed Hasan||Undetermined||Digital rights||5 November 2021||7 November 2021||Case 2207/2021 (Supreme State Security)||Joining a terrorist group and broadcasting false news||0||A month|
 Wael Ali, "National Human Rights Committee" demands a review of the "period of pretrial detention." Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper website. Posted on April 26, 2017. Last visit December 20, 2021, https://bit.ly/3fe595U
 31 countries condemn the violation of freedoms in Egypt before the Human Rights Council. (DW) site in Arabic. Posted on March 12, 2021. Last visit: December 20, 2021, https://bit.ly/3ssxedz