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Press Release: UN Alerted to Stop Torture and Disappearances in Egypt

LONDON, 30 November 2020 – Stoke White alerted the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to immediately intervene for a family who have endured systematic torture. The applications also urge the UN mechanisms to make a serious effort to end the systematic abuses by the Egyptian government.

On 24 March 2014, Omar Gamal Metwally Ibrahim was arrested, tortured for three years in four different police stations, two intelligence centres and seven prisons for taking part in peaceful protests against the violent coup in 2013. Omar was released in January 2017 and has since attempted to raise the plight of his family’s ordeal under President Abdelfattah el-Sisi’s regime.

Omar’s two brothers, Abdulrahman Gamal Metwally Ibrahim and Abdulaziz Gamal Metwally Ibrahim were arrested in connection with Omar’s alleged protest activities. Both brothers were arrested separately between November 2014 and June 2017, subjected to torture and denied access to legal counsel during brutal interrogations. Omar’s mother Hoda managed to see Abdulrahman 6 days after his arrest in 2017, by which she witnessed torture marks all over his body. Omar’s father was also arrested in 2013 following the violent coup, tortured in prison but thankfully released after two years.

Stoke White submitted the following UN appeals on behalf of Abdulrahman and Abdulaziz:

1. Urgent Appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture to intervene and to call on the state of Egypt to:

  • Stop and prevent all forms of torture committed against Mr. ABDULRAHMAN Gamal Metwally Ibrahim as a matter of urgency
  • To investigate all crimes of torture and prosecute those responsible
  • Provide information regarding our client’s health condition
  • Immediately provide access to adequate medical treatment

    2. Urgent Appeal to the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to intervene and to call on the state of Egypt to:

  • Provide information on Mr. ABDULAZIZ Gamal Metwally Ibrahim’s whereabouts and health condition
  • Establish where the client currently is being held
  • To hold those responsible acountable by bringing them to justice

    Yakup Bozdag, Solicitor at Stoke White said: “These submissions are only a fraction of the abuses endured by the innocent Egyptian people. The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the UN Working Group on the same are the final hope for justice for our clients, and thousands of others in Egypt’s prisons. With these submissions, we call on the UN to urgently halt Egypt’s violations with immediate effect”.

    Gulden Sonmez, Counsel for the victims said: “Egypt’s systematic torture and ill treatment needs no introduction. Civilians are tried in military courts, and all hallmarks of a fair trial violated. The United Nation’s mechanisms is the last resort for any form of justice related intervention for our clients in Egypt.”

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    NOTES:

    On 14 November 2014, Abdulrahman was arrested and taken to one of many prisons used in President Abdelfattah el-Sisi’s crackdown. After 6 days of detention, Abdulrahman’s elderly mother Hoda managed to make a visit only to learn of the horrific torture inflicted on Abdulrahman’s body. She told Stoke White’s lawyers that Abdulrahman had been severely tortured, unable to talk, or walk properly. He had been hanged up on metal-bars, endured routine electric-shocks, stubbed all over his body with cigarettes, and was held mostly under blindfold and naked. Abdulrahman was not provided any medical care, particularly following the dislocation of his shoulders. Six years on since being detained, his life is still under threat without any facts on his condition.

    On 4 June 2017, Abdulaziz was arrested whilst exiting a university exam. Abdulaziz was put through a military court system, subjected to similar torture as his brother and accused of alleged crimes he had no involvement. His sentence was expected to be completed on September 2020 according to family, but Abdulaziz’s whereabouts is unknown.