Today, February 7th, marks a year since Patrick Zaki - the researcher at EIPR and Master’s student at the University of Bologna- was arrested from Cairo Airport. Since then, he has been on remand detention. Last week, the Third Felonies circuit ordered the renewal of his detention for 45 additional days. In the face of this incomprehensible intransigence EIPR can’t but repeat its demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Patrick Zaki due to the absence of justifications for remand detention and demand the dropping of all charges against him.
Files: Judiciary affairs
South Cairo Criminal court issued yesterday its decision on Patrick’s hearing session, renewing his remand detention for an additional 45 day pending the investigation in the case 7245/2019. The hearing was held yesterday in Patrick’s presence and the presence of his lawyers from EIPR. Patrick has already spent more than 9 months in remand detention.
The recent developments also come as a direct response to our activities in the field of international advocacy, and in particular our meetings with a number of diplomatic missions, the most recent of which was a meeting held at EIPR’s headquarters on November 3rd with 13 ambassadors and accredited diplomats, who discussed ways to improve human rights conditions in Egypt.
By the end of October 2020, the justice system in Egypt had carried out the largest number of executions (in different cases of a varying nature) since it began its expansion of the application of death penalty in the last five years. A total of 53 people were executed during the course of October, the last of these executions took place on October 28 when four convicts were executed in a judgement related to the killing of 17 people in a nightclub fire in Agouza.
EIPR had previously and repeatedly warned that the precedent of accusations being brought against a victim and survivor of rape and kidnapping sends a clear message to women and girls that reporting sexual assaults they are subjected to, may end up in them being charged as accused and lead them to prison, hindering any community efforts seeking to support women and girls in their quest to recover from the aftermath of sexual violence crimes that they may be exposed to.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) condemns the verdict passed in absentia by the Fifth Circuit of the Criminal Court (terrorism felonies) with 15 years’ imprisonment for Bahey El Din Hassan, founder of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), and one of the pioneers of Egyptian human rights work throughout its history.
Once again the prison administration failed to transfer Patrick Zaki citing a force majeure event. Patrick was scheduled for a detention renewal session on Sunday June 28 that was meant to take place for the first time before a Criminal Court panel from a counter-terrorism circuit, which sits at the Tora Subofficers Training Institute. But once again we saw a repeat of what has become the norm over the last three months, following the April 28 decision by the head of the Cairo Appellate Court to resume detention renewal sessions without the presence of defendants in criminal cases
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) called on the Ministry of Interior and the Prisons Authority to assume their legal responsibility in providing the simplest forms of human contact in light of the continued suspension of visits for prisoners’ families, consistent with the rights stipulated in the Prison Regulation Law. EIPR demanded that the ministry and the Prisons Authority allow detainees and prisoners to communicate with their families and lawyers.
Until the time of the writing the SSSP has yet to issue its decision on Patrick’s detention, although the prosecutor today has issued permission for Patrick’s family to visit him tomorrow in his new detention place in Tora, Cairo.Patrick Zaki stood before Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) in the Fifth Settlement, Cairo for his second scheduled hearing looking into the state of his detention pending investigation in Mansoura II Administrative Case 7245/2019 registered under Supreme State Security Investigations no. 1766/2019 .
His family were attempting to visit him today, 5 March 2020, on the first regular visit scheduled for pre-trial detainees; only to find that he was once again moved to Tora in Cairo. We have not been able to establish yet which of the various detention facilities within the Tora Prison Complex he will be held in, since he was only moved this morning.