Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) states that the death of the Egyptian economics expert, Ayman Muhammad Ali Hadhoud, in his prison cell after two months of forced disappearance, is a tragedy — one that shows the threat that tens of thousands of Egyptian detainees.
On Sunday 10 April, Hadhoud’s family announced his death in unexplained circumstances, whilst he was detained by the Egyptian security services.
Hadhoud was arrested on the evening of 3 February, after having dinner with his brother in Cairo’s Zamalek neighborhood. However, the authorities denied his detention for several days.
After acknowledging his imprisonment, the authorities denied his family visits and even communicating with him. Neither the reason for, nor the location of, his detention were given.
According to Hadhoud’s family, private sources confirmed to them that he was detained in Cairo’s Amiriya police station. He was also held for a period in the National Security headquarters in the capital, and there was subjected to severe physical and psychological torture, after which he was transferred to the Abbasid Mental Hospital, also in Cairo.
Initially, the hospital denied his presence, though admitted to it a few days after, saying that he was being held under the orders of the Ministry of Interior for 45 days, and that they, the family, would not be allowed to visit him without permission from the Public Prosecutor. This permission was denied, said the prosecutor, since Hadhoud was not within their office’s jurisdiction.
Ayman Hadhoud is a prominent economist, a graduate of the American University in Cairo, a former member of the Reform and Development Party, and a member of the National Council for Human Rights.
With the death of Hadhoud, the number of deaths in Egyptian prisons since the current regime took power reached 922 people, whether as a result of medical negligence, torture, or the mismanagement of detention centers.
AOHR UK underlines that this is quite contrary to the official claims that prisoners enjoy the full suite of human and civil rights.
AOHR UK believes that the international community bears much of the responsibility for the wellbeing of Egyptian detainees, in light of the absence of serious criticism of the regime’s violations, which amounts to immunity for its crimes.