“Arbitrary Violations: Follow up report on violations of the defendants’ rights in the state security case 1338/2019 Those arrested in connection with the September 20 protests”
Several protests broke out on September 20 in a number of Egyptian governorates, including Cairo, Alexandria, Suez and Giza, demanding the overthrow of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Security forces responded by arresting hundreds of people from September 20, pending the case 1338. According to our recent monitoring, the number of those arrested amounted to 2097 defendants and charges varied from being accomplices to a terrorist group in order to achieve its goals, the establishment of a social networking site to promote the ideas of that group, spreading and broadcasting false news, and joining a group to organize a demonstration without a license.
By following up the case with 49 defendants who were contacted by their lawyers, we found that there is a prominent pattern in which the course of the case happened. All defendants, except one, were subjected to enforced disappearance before being brought before the prosecution, and some reported being subjected to physical abuse as well as psychological abuse during the period of their disappearance. Most defendants were denied their right to communicate with their relatives or lawyers. Upon arrest, more than one defendant reported that they were not even protesting during the arrest, and that the arrest and habeas corpus came on suspicion and after searching their cell phones. Moreover, defendats were arrested in unofficial places of detention, mostly in AlGabl AlAhmar, Salam and Torrah camps, where access to food was impossible and cells were overcrowded. The defendants have also been denied access to clothing or hygiene items, as well as the necessary treatment or medical examination at the beginning of any detention