Egypt: 16,000 People Subjected to Security Persecution in 2020 and 2021

More than 16,000 Egyptians were subjected to security persecution in 2020 and 2021 on charges related to their political activism, new data showed.

During 2020 and 2021, 16,064 cases of security or judicial persecution were reported over political background in all Egyptian governorates, except for North Sinai, through 300 police departments, cities and districts.

Approximately 10,000 cases were reported in 2020 while 5800 cases were documented in 2021.

This includes 15,710 arrests filled by the public prosecution (2,201 of them are Rotation incidents) and 161 arrests on dismissed charges and 194 cases with no further information about.

Final discharge decisions were issued in favor of 5,200 detainees, while 4,801 people were sentenced to different prison terms. No further information was released over the fate of 6,063 detainees. 45 deaths were reported among those arrested between 2020 and 2021.

Between 2018 and 2021, approximately 1,764 Egyptian political prisoners were subjected to “rotation policy,” increasingly used by the Egyptian authorities to circumvent the maximum periods of pre-trial detention, and raises serious due process and fair trial concerns.

Rotation occurs when an individual who is serving a sentence, is in pre-trial detention, has recently completed a sentence, or has recently been ordered released from pre-trial detention, is questioned and detained in relation to a new case. Accordingly, with every new case the pre-trial detention period begins anew, contributing to a situation in which an individual could be kept in pre-trial detention de facto indefinitely, so long as they are ordered detained in new cases.

Unfortunately, the released data do not include all those who were subjected to such violations due to the official blackout.

We call on the international community to pressure Egyptian authorities for the release of all political prisoners. Pending their release, we hope that Egyptian authorities will abide by international commitment by granting prisoners of conscience their rights, such as medical care and regular family visits, and ending all forms of violations they are being exposed to.

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