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
Egyptian Front for Human Rights has released a report known: “Arbitrary Violations “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 departure of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, following the end of the super match between the two largest football teams in the Egyptian league, Al-Ahly and Zamalek. The protests came against the backdrop of the campaign launched by several personalities against the Egyptian regime through social media platforms starting with the contractor Mohamed Ali, who ran a company that entered into several contracts with the Egyptian army, and accused partners from the regime of not paying him back over 10 million dollars in compensation for his services. The videos have resonated widely in the Egyptian street, amounting to the response of the Egyptian President saying that they are serious allegations and confirmed his sincerity and honesty. At the same time, Sinai activist / Mosaad Abu Fagr, who was close to the regime, published a series of videos accusing the Egyptian regime of exploiting the Sinai case for personal and political gain, denying that it was an ongoing war on terrorism.
As a result, there was a massive arrest campaign, either on September 20 or later. Security forces arrested hundreds of people from September 20, the first prosecution to begin on September 22, and arrests lasted for more than ten days. The Egyptian Front had published a list of the defendants pending the case 1338, which included almost all of the arrested in this period, according to the latest census of the defendants, who amounted to 2097 defendants accused of being accomplices to a terrorist group in order to achieve its goals, and the establishment of a social networking site to promote the ideas of that group, spreading and broadcasting false news, joining a group to organize a demonstration without a license.
Through 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.