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Friday, 22 September 2017

Egyptian rights activist Ibrahim Metwaly detained for 'establishing illegal group, spreading false news'

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Wednesday 13 Sep 2017
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Egypt's High State Security Prosecution has ordered the detention of lawyer and human rights activist Ibrahim Metwaly for 15 days pending investigation into “establishing an illegal group and spreading false news.”

Metwaly was arrested on 10 September at Cairo International Airport as he was on his way to Geneva to address the UN working group on forced disappearances.

Egyptian human rights activists reported his disappearance after his family said that he did not board the flight.

Metwaly is accused of illegally founding and running the ‘Association of the Families of the Disappeared’ rights group.

Metwaly founded the organisation in 2013 after the disappearance of his own son following clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi and security forces.

The 53-year-old activist was also among the Egyptian legal team representing the family of Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was kidnapped and murdered in Cairo in early 2016.  

On Tuesday, the chairman of the European Parliament's Subcommittee on Human Rights Pier Antonio Panzeri issued a statement expressing concern about Metwaly’s arrest.

Panzeri demanded that Egyptian authorities “unconditionally release” Metwaly.

Human rights organisations and activists have long accused the Egyptian government of conducting "forced disappearance" against political activists, which Egyptian authorities have strongly denied.

 
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