CAIRO: A human rights Lawyer was arrested Tuesday from his home and will undergo an investigation over charges of violating the 2013 Protest Law, in what was condemned by his colleagues and rights groups.
“Lawyer Abdel Aziz Youssef was arrested from home in the early hours of the day in his town in Sharqiah and was led to an unknown place,” human rights Lawyer Halem Henish told The Cairo Post Wednesday.
Henish said that Youssef was referred to prosecution along with five others over illegal protesting, without giving further details about the demonstration in which Youssef was accused.
Youssef’s brother informed Henish about the arrest, and said that the forces did not show any proof there was a prosecution order to detain him.
“He was absent for over 10 hours; this is enforced disappearance since no detention permission was issued,” Henish continued. He claimed that, similarly, many lawyers are “arrested, attacked while doing their work and turned to be defendants.”
The Lawyers Syndicate, which should dispatch board members to attend prosecution interrogations, was informed with the incident and “has not taken any step so far,” Henish added.
Some 50 lawyers signed a statement, published on Freedom for The Brave group’s Facebook account, lashing out at “policies pursued by Ministry of Interior and security agencies in terrorizing lawyers and dissuading them from doing their part in supporting victims of violence.”
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) condemned the incident and called on the syndicate “to take serious stance against security violations against lawyers,” in a Tuesday press statement.
“Abdel Aziz Youssef is a rights lawyer defending human rights, a graduate of Law School at Zaqaziq University in 2008, and he has not political affiliations,” the statement said.
It also denounced that toll of cases of “enforced disappearances are on the rise, which represents a waste to the provisions of the Egyptian constitution.”
Mohamed el-Baqer, a human rights lawyer, wrote on his Facebook, “Youssef’s real accusation is his work as a lawyer, and his possession of black robe…his real charge is that he was executing the law.”
“A lawyers’ job is becoming a burden on the regime…lawyers are posing a risk to the regime and to themselves, especially those who are defending human rights and the victims of laws, and exceptional, arbitrary and political decisions, as well as victims of torture…violations at prison and police stations, prosecution investigations, trials and enforced disappearance,” read his Facebook post.
A policeman was detained for allegedly shooting lawyer Mohamed el-Gamal in a court in July. Two main eyewitnesses, however, come forward with different testimony saying that a prosecution secretary was the assaulter.
Two national security police officers are standing trial over charges of torturing and killing Lawyer Karim Hamdy in February.
In June, a large number of lawyers staged a one-day nationwide strike after a police officer hit a lawyer in the head with his shoe in Egypt’s Delta governorate of Damietta.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi interfered in the crisis and apologized to the lawyers, calling on policemen to “take care” while dealing with citizens.