No forced disappearance cases in Egypt: Interior Ministry

Ahram Online , Wednesday 14 Oct 2015

Assistant to the Interior Minister spoke on Wednesday October 14, 2015 to MENA about the enforced disappearance cases in Egypt. File Photo of the Interior Ministry (Photo: Al-Ahram )

Assistant to the interior minister at the human rights sector Salah Fouad said that no forced disappearance cases have been recorded in Egypt, state news agency reported.

Fouad highlighted that whoever is claiming that there are forced disappearance cases must first provide proof.

In an interview with MENA, Fouad explained that Egypt is one of the countries that signed a treaty with the United Nations to fight against this phenomenon.

He added that 45 articles stipulate the protection of Egyptian citizens from this kind of disappearance.

The articles also stipulate harsh punishments for the perpetrators who carry out forced disappearances.

Fouad also provided a definition for forced disappearance, saying that, according to the UN definition of such a term, it means the arrest, detention, abduction, or any other form of deprivation of liberty by state authorities supported by the country.

He added that this follows a refusal to acknowledge deprivation of liberties and also concealing the place of detainment, which deprives the citizen of protection by the law.

"With complete confidence there are no forced disappearances in Egypt for any person, and whoever claims otherwise must provide evidence," says Fouad.

Yet the assistant to the interior minister reiterated his comments, saying that it is the state's right in some cases to deprive one person from his liberty under specific conditions.

"A person could be deprived of his liberties if they committed anything outside of the law, and all these crimes are outlined in Egypt’s constitution and Egyptian Law," says Fouad.

Speaking about the latest report issued by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) regarding 163 cases of forced disappearances, Fouad said that these are all rumours.

"If people are claiming that there are forced disappearance cases, numbers will not help in any way. People should provide the ministry with names so that we can search for them instead of just creating a state of confusion," says Fouad.

He added that the Brotherhood is waging a propaganda campaign for "the exploitation of a number of civil society organisations, whether international or domestic, and to promote the existence of cases of forced disappearance in Egypt in order to put pressure on the Egyptian government.

Freedom of the Brave, a campaign to release detained political prisoners in Egypt, reported the disappearance of many activists, including freelance photographer Esraa El-Taweel. There has also been a social media campaign lately to inquire about the whereabouts of former activist Mostafa Massouny.

The interior ministry denied that Massouny was arrested "by the police or any affiliated security apparatuses."

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