9 July 2014

Egypt: Enforced Disappearance of Ramadan Omar - When Will This Practice Disappear?

press release

On June 28, Egyptian police forces have arrested an Egyptian student, Ramadan Omar, as he was visiting a relative detained in Abu Zaabel's prison in Cairo. The 20-year old student is one of the several victims, often anonymous, of enforced disappearance, a practice which seems to be reappearing in a systematic manner in the country.

Ramadan was successfully pursuing business studies and had no criminal record. As he was in the courtyard with his family, several uniformed policemen approached him and suddenly hit him before bringing him down for no apparent reason. He was then taken away in a car that left the prison immediately. This is the last time that he was seen.

Worried about his fate, Ramadan's family rapidly contacted the Attorney General in Cairo. However, they are yet to receive an answer. To date, the authorities have continued to deny his detention, reinforcing his family's concerns. With the ongoing context of impunity in Egypt, many fear that Ramadan will be tortured during his detention.

Alkarama has therefore sent an urgent appeal to the Working Group on Enforced Disappearances (WGEID) for them to call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Omar or to place him under the protection of the law. Alkarama, which has received an increasing number of cases of enforced disappearances, wonders on the exact number of disappeared persons. The Egyptian authorities must end this grave practice, investigate all cases of enforced disappearances, and prosecute their perpetrators.

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