CAIRO: Cleric Anas Sultan, known for his participation in 2011 revolution, has been missing since Tuesday along with his two brothers, according to Rights Lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer.
“Sultan’s house in Nasr City was stormed Tuesday at dawn without a prosecution permit, and most of the house’s contents were damaged. He was taken with his two brothers; Osama and Islam, to an unknown location,” Baqer told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
He added, “Until now, their whereabouts is still unknown, and their names are not [registered] at first and second Nasr city police stations.”
Sultan is a graduate of Al-Azhar University. Months after the violent dispersal of the pro-Muslim Brotherhood sit-in at Rabaa al-Adaweya Square in Cairo, he wrote on Facebook that he decided to reveal his stance, adding that he knew “the best people” at the sit-ins. However, he stopped his political activism two years ago and started his project “Sheikh el-Amood;” a center where he teaches Islamic sharia, according to Baqer.
Sultan has 139,539 followers on Facebook; his page has been filled with wishes for a safe return and prayers since his disappearance.
According to the law, Baqer said, “a person should be presented before the prosecution within 48 hours of his arrest; otherwise, he should return home.”
In this case, this is called enforced disappearance, added Baqer, claiming that “Sultan has been abducted by the Homeland Security. It is a fortress where no lawyer, judicial or media person can enter.”
“Sultan’s family filed a police report before the public prosecution, which is to order an inspection into the damage inflicted at Sultan’s house,” he said. Baqer said he knew Sultan from the iconic Tahrir Square, where the sheikh participated in different stages of the 2011 revolution.
Baqer went on explaining the illegal incarceration process, writing on his Facebook page that “the arrested person appears with signs of torture a day or a few days later, either charged with terrorism-related charges, forced to be photographed in possession of weapons.”
“Then, he is presented before the prosecution, which decides on his remand detention, but the prosecution turns a blind eye to the period of his enforced disappearance or to the marks of torture,” Baqer added in his post.
Egypt is not among the signatories on the International Convention against Enforced Disappearance. A recommendation to ratify the international agreement was not accepted by Egypt during its 2014 UN human rights record review.
Forgotten victim of Enforced Disappearance
Amr Rabie, a 22-year old student, was reported missing on March 11, 2014, where his family and his colleagues mounted a campaign against his “abduction.” On May 17, Rabei’s name was enrolled along with 200 others as suspected members of the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which has killed hundreds of army and police soldiers in numerous attacks in the peninsula. The case is currently being considered before a military court.
According to the list, the two-month period where Rabie was missing was considered as he was “at large” and that the police arrested him from his home. The police’s terrorism-related accusations against Rabei were denied by his mother, Sanaa Beheiry, as “contrived.”
She said, “how come he was apprehended from home, while I have repeatedly reported him as being kidnapped by police officers?”
Before Rabei’s whereabouts were revealed, Beheiry said she heard her son was detained at Azouly prison, a military prison in Ismailia, claiming he “was subjected to torture and suffered a dislocated shoulder accordingly.”
Edited by Hanan Fayed