1 year of detention for Patrick and the possible charge “Participation in the January 25 Revolution”!

Press Release

7 February 2021

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. 

Patrick's lawyers have stated that, throughout a full year of detention he had demanded that the Public Prosecution disclose the reasons for the continuation of detention, which the prosecution did not provide.  During the last hearing, Patrick's lawyers have maintained the need for the prosecution to disclose the justifications for its request to renew Patrick's detention, in accordance with ArticleNo.136 of the Code of Criminal Procedure in order for the defense to get the chance to rebut and refute them. In the face of the lawyers’ request, the Public Prosecutor reiterated his general phrase: “The justifications for remand are applicable”.  

When Patrick left the counseling room, he expressed his frustration with the court's attitude towards his case,  compared to the releases ordered for other defendants during the same session.  Patrick wondered  “Is the reason for all that ..what the judge told me last session ... The attributed documents that I participated in the 25th January Revolution?!”.

Patrick Zaki was arrested from Cairo airport on February 7, 2020, while on his way to a short vacation to see his family and friends in cairo, coming from Italy where he studies as an Erasmus Mundus Master’s Degree student at the University of Bologna.  He was then transferred to a National Security Sector facility in Cairo, then to another in Mansoura, blindfolded, and there he was tortured by electric shock, threatened, and questioned about his work and activism, before appearing the next day in front of the Mansoura Prosecution.  He has been held in remand detention since February 8, 2020, based on a fabricated arrest warrant and he is still in this vicious circle of renewed remand detention up till now.  Patrick spent most of his detention during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, in an unhygienic and overcrowded prison. The precautionary measures meant that he received no family visits for months, and he was even denied his legal right, and this of all prisoners, to make phone calls, particularly in the absence of visits. When the visits were resumed they were limited to one family member in each monthly visit.

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. EIPR also calls on all those concerned with improving the civil rights and freedoms of Egyptians to intensify their efforts to ensure the end of Patrick and his family’s suffering, and the suffering of thousands of other prisoners in the same circumstances, pursuant to the compliance of  the egyptian constitution and law, and all international conventions ratified by the successive Egyptian governments.