The Swiss-based organisation Alkarama said on Monday that it reported two enforced disappearance case of two Egyptian students to the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) and demand that Egyptian authorities disclose their locations detention and allow their families and a lawyer to visit them.
The report noted that both students’ families turned to Alkarama to send letters to WGEID after failed attempts to obtain any information about their sons’ location from Egyptian authorities.
The first student, Ahmed Ehab Al-Naggar, 20, was arrested from his home on 13 November 2015 by security forces and taken to an unknown location in a car. His mobile phone and computer were confiscated.
Following Ahmed’s arrest, his family sent several messages to officials, with the assistance of the National Human Rights Council (NCHR), but they did not receive any response regarding their son’s whereabouts.
In February, however, the Al-Naggar family received information, from other detainees’ relatives that their son is being detained in 6th of October City Homeland Security.
The second student, Mohamed Al-Hosseini, 25, was arrested from a pharmacy in the Fifth Settlement where he works, along with the pharmacy’s owner, Omar Abou Sayed, on 28 February.
The pharmacy owner was accused of being involved in the assassination of late prosecutor general Hisham Barakat, who was killed in July 2015. Abou Sayed is currently being detained in Tora prison. Al-Hosseini’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Al-Hosseini was previously arrested in 2014. He was tortured in detention, which afflicted his health. His family is worried that he could again be subjected to medical negligence.
Alkarama stated that “torture remains systematic in Egypt, particularly against youth”, refereeing to the case of Eid Abdel Azim, 18, who was subjected to torture while being detained in November 2015.
The report also examined the situation of opposition groups in Egypt, noting: “thousands of individuals have disappeared in the past two years, without reason, individuals disappear for a few weeks, or sometimes months, and are held secretly in detention.”
The report stated that usually victims, who are taken to detention secretly are tortured and then reappear later in prosecution, pending investigation.
The report concluded noting that thousands of enforced disappearance cases have been reported in Egypt since July 2013 and recommended that authorities take a stand against this practice to ensure justice.
On 31 March, El Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Violence of Victims released its monthly report for March 2016. The centre observed 202 deaths, 105 enforced disappearances, and 39 cases of medical negligence inside detention places.
The centre releases a report every month observing violations in accordance with media reports and testimonies from lawyers and the families of those affected.
The report claimed that the 202 cases of death included 91 security personnel killed in airstrikes on cities in Sinai, 74 extra-judicial killings, 20 killed in exchange of fire, and six were killed after being detained, and six others inside detention centres.
El Nadeem’s report also included three citizens and a child who were killed after a dispute with security forces.
The report also detailed the 105 cases of enforced disappearance, of which 21 reappeared after several months, and 10 others were released after orders from the prosecution.
Sixty cases of torture were reported, including 33 cases of group torture and 21 of individual torture, in addition to 43 cases of police brutality.
The report concluded by referring to the Interior Ministry’s statements in which it denied that any of its employees or officials have committed any human rights violations. The ministry’s involvement in the death of Italian PhD student Giulio Regini was also denied, as well as any claims that its security forces are linked to the murder.
However, the ministry usually denies enforced disappearances, the report said. In mid-March the Interior Ministry announced that it is working on identifying 277 enforced disappearances with the coordination of the NCHR.
Despite the centre receiving a warrant for closure from the Health Ministry in February, El Nadeem’s staff has insisted on continuing its work in documenting violations via social media. El Nadeem released a report on 28 February covering that month’s violations.
In the report, El Nadeem published various violations by the Ministry of Interior in February. These violation were documented against both prisoners and citizens, which included 111 cases of death, 88 cases of torture, 42 cases of police brutality, 155 cases of enforced disappearances, 44 cases of reappeared persons after an enforced disappearance, and 44 cases of medical negligence, as well as specialised reports detailing conditions in Al-Aqrab prison and the death of Regeni.