Ahmed Ghoneim, a Students Against the Coup (SAC) spokesperson, has been missing for over three weeks and there is little his peers can do besides reach out to local rights organisations, a SAC spokesperson said on Friday.
We cannot go complain to the prosecutor general, Youssef said, adding that the prosecution is part of this system. “And if we go report this to the ministry of interior, we will probably get arrested,” he said, “we just have to wait until he faces prosecution.”
Enforced disappearances entail the state does not leave traces of these arrests, as the disappeared are not legally recorded in any prisons. Families end up with little evidence, other than the missing bodies of the disappeared.
Ghoneim is not the first spokesperson to be forcibly taken by National Security forces, Youssef said. “This has been the trend with three or four other spokespeople before him; it is not something new.”
Ghoneim was spokesperson for the movement directly after the July 2013 military ouster of former President Mohamed Mursi. He was responsible for the movement’s university spokespeople all across the country, but his involvement with the movement has decreased since his graduation a year ago.
Hazem Tarek was missing for a month before his family and friends found him in Torah Prison. “By then he had already been tortured and electrocuted,” Youssef said.
Local and international human rights organisations, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, and the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Violence and Torture, have called for an end to enforced disappearances at various instances over the past two years.
Most victims of enforced disappearances primarily end up in a secret military prison in Ismailia, Al-Azouly prison where they are tortured and are locked in a six square metre cell with a lack of ventilation, light and sanitation,At the beginning of this academic year in October 2014, state security forces arrested approximately 40 students from their homes.
Enforced disappearances were also frequent during the Mubarak-era, as National security officers who arrested people from their homes were notoriously called “Dawn Visitors.”