UN officials have denounced the Egyptian regime’s various human rights violations against Egyptian citizen Dr. Ahmed Amasha, himself a human rights activist and co-founder of an anti-forced disappearance group.
The criticism came in a letter co-written by the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders and the UNHCR’s Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances. The letter was addressed to the Egyptian authorities.
The UN officials called on the Egyptian government to conduct an investigation into the use of forced disappearance and torture against Dr. Amasha, and to hold those responsible accountable.
The letter also demanded that the relevant authorities provide a legal basis for his arrest.
The authors noted that the authorities’ treatment of Dr. Amasha “appears to be related to his activity as a human rights defender.”
The letter also expressed concerns about Amasha’s physical and psychological state, which have both worsened following the forced disappearance, detention, torture, and medical negligence that he has suffered.
The letter also expressed concern about his being kept in solitary confinement and being monitored by cameras throughout the day.
The letter recalled the Egyptian regime’s obligations under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, which Egypt signed in 1986. The convention demands that any individual allegation of torture be investigated.
The letter demanded clarification of the fate of the forcibly disappeared persons generally in Egypt.
The Egyptian authorities arrested Dr. Amasha in March 2017. He was held in pretrial detention for more than two years, after which he was released without trial in October 2019.
He was again arrested in June 2020, and in August 2022 he was charged with joining a terrorist group, a tactic that the Egyptian regime typically uses against its critics.