Mahmoud Hussein, a protester who had already spent two years in arbitrary pretrial detention for wearing an anti-torture T-shirt, was re-arrested on August 30. After his release on bail in 2016, he was convicted of bogus charges and sentenced to life imprisonment in his absence in a grossly unfair trial by an emergency court marred by allegations of torture. He is detained at Badr 1 prison pending his retrial, amid concerns over his health. He must be immediately and unconditionally released as his detention is solely linked to the exercise of his human rights, including wearing an anti-torture T-shirt.
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Public Prosecutor Mohamed Shawky Ayyad
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2577 4716
Egyptian Embassy in the United States
Ambassador Motaz Mounir Zahran
3521 International Court, NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: (202) 895-5400
Email: [email protected]
I am concerned about the arbitrary detention of Mahmoud Hussein since August 30, solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression. Security forces stopped him at a checkpoint on his way back from Beni Suef to Cairo. He was then forcibly disappeared for five days, with the authorities refusing to provide his lawyers or family with any information about his fate or whereabouts. On September 5, he was interrogated in connection to a case dating back to protests on January 25, 2014. The then 18-year-old was arrested for wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “A Nation Without Torture” and arbitrarily detained for two years.
On February 26, 2018, the Emergency State Security Court (ESSC) convicted him and sentenced him to life imprisonment. As he was tried in his absence, he will now stand retrial on the same charges, also in front of an ESSC. Mahmoud Hussein is currently detained in Badr 1 Prison, where Amnesty International has documented concerns regarding inhumane detention conditions and denial of adequate healthcare to . Since being detained, Mahmoud Hussein has not received healthcare for his various health issues.
I urge you to ensure Mahmoud Hussein’s release and that all charges against him be dropped. Pending his release, he must be granted regular access to his family, lawyers, and adequate medical care, and held in conditions that comply with international standards for the treatment of prisoners.