Written by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: November 23, 2023
The “Committee for Justice” has again called on the Egyptian authorities to stop targeting human rights defenders and to end the practice of “recycling of cases.” This follows the renewal of detention of the Egyptian human rights lawyer and coordinator of the Association of Families of the Forcibly Disappeared, Ibrahim Metwally, by the First Circuit (Terrorism) of the Egyptian Criminal Court. The court renewed Metwally’s detention for an additional 45 days in Case No. 786 for 2020, State Security, on charges of establishing a group. These charges were brought against him while he was being transferred to and from prison for renewal hearings
Continuous Pre-Trial Detention for Six Years:
It is noted that the Egyptian human rights lawyer, Ibrahim Metwally (60 years old), has been held in pre-trial detention on several recycled cases for six years, in blatant violation of the law. Metwally was arrested in 2017 while en route to Geneva, Switzerland, to participate in the 113th session of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. As the coordinator for the Association of Families of the Forcibly Disappeared and a father of a son who was arrested in July 2013 and remains forcibly disappeared to this day, Metwally has been subjected to recycling on three consecutive cases with the same charges to circumvent his release orders and to justify exceeding three times the maximum limit for pre-trial detention.
Reconsidering the Duration of Pre-Trial Detention:
CFJ views the continued detention of the Egyptian human rights lawyer and coordinator of the Association of Families of the Forcibly Disappeared, Ibrahim Metwally, as unjustified. It calls for intervention from the international community and UN mechanisms to stop these targeting actions against civil society in Egypt. CFJ also considers the Egyptian authorities’ manipulation of the legal two-year limit on pre-trial detention, as stipulated in Egyptian law, to have become a systematic policy. CFJ calls for a reassessment of the legal duration of pre-trial detention itself, along with the establishment of strict guidelines for its implementation, to ensure an end to this exploitation by the Egyptian authorities.