A high school student has been forcibly disappeared in Fayoum, after he was arrested on 6 March, Fayoum-based lawyer Mahmoud Hassan said.
Abdallah Mohamed Aly, 17, was allegedly arrested from his home, but the police denies his detention at any police station. His family have submitted several reports to the Prosecutor General and local police stations in Fayoum, but so far no trace of him has been found.
The student’s lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan, who is based in Fayoum, told Daily News Egypt: “His family knew indirectly that he was detained in the Fayoum police station, yet nobody disclosed why or how he was detained.”
“They took his personal ID from his family and promised to release him soon, but no response was made,” he added.
According to Hassan, there have been weekly cases of enforced disappearances in Fayoum since the beginning of 2015.
He said: “We also have another student named Ibrahim Mahmoud who disappeared from his hometown in Fayoum for 10 days, and then appeared in a video where he allegedly confessed belonging to a terrorist group. But when he was questioned by the prosecution, he denied all charges.”
In a video created last week by Al-Azhar University students, the family of Muaath Attia, a 19-year-old Islamic studies student in the university’s Mansura branch, called on Egyptian authorities to disclose the whereabouts of their son.
According to his family, Attia went missing on 14 December 2014. “We asked about him in everywhere in Mansoura…and we still do not know where he is,” Attia’s sister said.
Attia’s father, Mohamed, said he received notice from an officer that his son was being held in National Security, but they were not given information. “We do not know if he is being tortured or if he is being humiliated,” Attia’s father said.
In other cases, families of forcibly disappeared people have found their children caught in military trials of suspected “terrorist groups”.
An Amnesty International statement in May 2014 reported that dozens of civilians had been subjected to forced disappearance over the year. They were “held for months in secret detention at an Egyptian military camp, where they are subjected to torture and other ill-treatment to make them confess to crimes”.
According to the statement, those who are forcibly disappeared are most often sent to Al-Aqrab and Al-Azouly prisons inside the Al-Galaa military camp in Ismailia.
Egyptian security forces have been notorious for this tactic of forced disappearances since before the 25 January Revolution.
National Security officials who made surprise visits to the homes of anti-government opposition activists and figures were called “the dawn visitors”, whilst activists referred to the National Security building and the military prisons as the “Guantánamo Bay of Egypt”.
A 2010 Human Rights Watch statement called on Egyptian authorities to disclose the whereabouts of dentistry student Mohamed Tork who disappeared in July 2009 “with strong indications that he was being held by the authorities”.
Cases of enforced disappearances have frequently been reported as part of the increasing security unrest in several cities across Egypt. Suspects have been accused of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood or other “terrorist groups”.
A nine-year-old child will be tried by a Fayoum military court after allegedly attacking security forces and burning electricity transformers, relatives and a legal support group told Daily News Egypt.
The Ministry of Interior reported Saturday the arrest of 38 people across Egypt on charges of committing violent acts and rioting. Among them one person was arrested from Fayoum.