CAIRO: In a bid to locate people who disappeared during the past three years of revolution and turmoil in Egypt, organizers launched a new campaign called “Hanla’ehom” (We Will Find Them) at a press conference at the Press Syndicate Saturday.
Campaign spokesperson Nermeen Yousri said elements of the campaign have been at work since 2012, about a year after the downfall of the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, but only now do they have enough resources to launch a formal, dedicated mission. She added they believe the total number of missing to be around 1,200.
“We basically depend on the streets. The people who know us and know others need help,” she said. “The campaign is still quite small and with minimal resources.”
She said the relatives of the missing have begun to give up hope in some cases, but even if they discovered their loved ones had died, this would still provide closure.
Yousri mentioned a number of examples of missing people, including a woman named Ghada, who she said was pregnant and disappeared in February 2012 near the Omar Makram mosque as she was bringing items to those injured there.
“Ghada’s husband suffered a nervous breakdown shortly after, and her parents died. If our campaign doesn’t have a legal right to speak in her name, we have a humanitarian right to do so until we find her,” Yousri said.
She said, however, the campaign had already had some successes.
She said they found a man named Amr Al-Saied in a Quesna train station in the Menoufia governorate wearing only his underwear six months after his disappearance.
“We found that Saied had been in Wadi al-Natroun Prison, and was beaten and tortured without investigations. He was kept in jail for all this time with no charges,” Yousri said.
“Those missing are more vulnerable to abuse. We must find them, whether they are alive or not,” she said.