Released activist: what happened to me was ‘enforced disappearance’
Activist Khaled el-Sayed - Photo Courtesy of his facebook

CAIRO: Activists Khaled el-Sayed was released Friday hours after reportedly being held by Cairo airport authorities and banned from traveling to Qatar.

Sayed was stopped Thursday from boarding a plane heading to Doha, where his wife works. He was missing for over 30 hours, without any official statements on his whereabouts or the reasons for him being held, his wife Hoda Mahmoud told the Cairo Post Friday.


Activist Khaled Sayed with his wife Hoda Mahmoud

Activist Khaled Sayed with his wife Hoda Mahmoud

In his facebook account, Sayed said he has not been informed with the reasons of his detention so far, saying what happened to him was an “enforced disappearance crime,” referring to “a state of confusion,” prevails in Egypt.

He said a homeland security officer told him he is wanted in a misdemeanor case. He was told by a homeland security officer that he is wanted in a misdemeanor case. According to Sayed, he was excluded from the said case.

Sayed’s Lawyer Halim Henish said his client has arrived in Qatar Saturday.

On Thursday night and while I was in the airport, “a number of officers repeatedly searched my bags without knowing what they were searching for.”

Sayed said he was then taken from the airport to two police stations, which rejected to receive him over “lack of legal conviction against me.”

“I was not investigated by the prosecution, the homeland security apparatus or any other authority, and after that, I was informed that I can travel,” he added in his Facebook post.

Rights group demands Sayed’s whereabouts disclosed

The Freedom for the Brave group, dedicated to assist political detainees, issued a statement demanding authorities to announce Sayed’s detention place, expressing high concern over his safety.

The group said that what happened with Sayed is a violation to the 2014 constitution, which obliges the referral of the arrested to prosecution within 24 hours of detention.


Activist Khaled el-Sayed

Activist Khaled el-Sayed


Sayed’s Lawyer Henish was given different accounts on his client’s whereabouts by anonymous airport source. Henish learned about Sayed’s detention through a text message from Sayed himself telling him he was detained and banned from traveling; his phone was turned off twenty minutes later.

On his Facebook page, Henish explained that Sayed’s criminal status record was clear of any accusations denying his client is wanted in any cases.

Sayed, a former member of the dissolved Revolution Youth Coalition, was arrested in 2014 during the fourth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, and spent almost two month in jail, during which he claimed he was tortured.

Along with three others, Sayed was excluded from the case and released in March 2014. A one month-prison sentence in absentia issued against Sayed over “possession of unlicensed dart,” was appealed by his lawyer.

Since April, some 163 enforced disappearance cases have been spotted by the Freedom for the Brave group. Activists have condemned the practice and subsequent ill treatment; many of those who went missing re-appeared with charges.

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