Two years after his remand detention: The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) calls for the release of Coptic activist Ramy Kamel and the dropping of charges against him
EIPR renews its demands for the release of Coptic activist Ramy Kamel, head of the Maspero Youth Foundation for Human Rights, and the dropping of all charges fabricated against him without evidence, two years after his arrest on November 23, 2019, and his remand detention pending case No. 1475 of the year 2019. Since Ramy Kamel has completed the maximum period of pre-trial detention stipulated in accordance with Article 143 of the Egyptian Code of Criminal Procedure, his continued detention is considered unlawful. EIPR also calls on the Egyptian authorities in general to stop using pretrial detention and unfounded terrorism charges to suppress human rights defenders for their legitimate work.
Security forces had arrested Ramy Kamel Sayed Salib on November 23, 2019 after searching his house in Al-Warraq neighborhood in Giza Governorate, where his phone, camera and personal computer were confiscated. After his disappearance of several hours, during which he was beaten and insulted, according to his later statements, Ramy appeared at the headquarters of the Supreme State Security Prosecution in the Fifth Settlement, where he was interrogated for the first time in the absence of his lawyer, which prompted his defense staff at the time to send a telegram to the Attorney General and the Minister of Justice regarding the investigation of their client without a lawyer, demanding an investigation into his disappearance and torture.
The Public Prosecution charged Ramy with accusations of: joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes, committing a crime of financing terrorism (through postal transfers to others) with the aim of committing terrorist crimes, broadcasting false news and statements that would disturb public security, spreading terror among the people and harming public interest, using a personal account on the world wide web with the aim of committing a crime - broadcasting false statements, news and rumors that would disturb public security, spread terror among people and harm public interest.
In the investigation session dated December 2, 2019, the defendant’s defense asked the deputy public prosecutor in charge of the investigation to access the statements about those postal remittances, in preparation for an appeal against them for forgery after the defendant denied his connection to them. Then the defense team submitted complaint No. 53237 petitions of the Public Prosecutor to prove the maliciousness of Ramy Kamel's accusation of financing a terrorist group after obtaining a certificate from the main post office denying Ramy's execution of these transfers on the dates and in the amounts of money recorded in the investigations.
Several successive decisions were issued extending Ramy Kamel’s detention pending investigations, until he completed about two years, which represents the maximum period of pretrial detention, according to the fourth paragraph of Article 143 of the Code of Criminal Procedure:
“In all cases, the period of pre-trial detention at the stage of the preliminary investigation and other stages of the criminal case may not exceed one third of the maximum penalty of deprivation of liberty, provided that it does not exceed six months in misdemeanours, eighteen months in felonies, and two years if the penalty prescribed for the crime is life imprisonment or execution."
The defense team stated that Ramy Kamel is being held in solitary confinement. He is also deprived of his rights granted by the constitution and the law, such as deprivation of exercise and exposure to the sun, which affects his health, especially as he suffers from chest allergies.