[JURIST] The Egyptian Supreme State Security Prosecution on Thursday acknowledged the detainment of Ibrahim Metwally, a human rights lawyer. Metwally was arrested three days prior after he was suspected of providing legal aid to the family of an Italian graduate student who abducted and killed by Egyptian forces while in Cairo in 2016. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms [advocacy website, in Arabic] is calling on the government to release Metwally and to drop any and all potential criminal charges pending against him. Metwally has long argued against violations of human rights carried out by the Egyptian government, including its use of enforced disappearance technique, which experts argue is rampant in Egypt.
The Egyptian government has recently been accused of numerous human rights violations. Last week Human Rights Watch reported [JURIST report] that security forces under the administration of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi have systematically used torture methods against political detainees that likely amount to crimes against humanity. Last month the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights [official website] issued a statement [JURIST report] detailing their concern over websites, including many news sites, that have been shutdown or blocked by the Egyptian government. In June the UN stated that Egypt’s new NGO law [JURIST report] will further restrict human rights advocacy. In May the UN criticized [JURIST report] the increased security measures the president has instituted since the bombings of Christian churches earlier this year. While condemning the attacks, al-Hussien said that al-Sisi’s declaration of a three-month state of emergency was only going to increase radicalization. In April HRW criticized [JURIST report] US President Donald Trump’s plan to meet with al-Sisi, saying the move effectively endorses the country’s poor recent human rights record.