In what has become a typical, albeit still harrowing, response, the Egyptian regime reacted swiftly and aggressively, despite the foreign diplomatic presence. It arrested EIPR’s Executive Director, Gasser Abdel Razek, the Director of Criminal Justice Unit, Karim Ennarah, and EIPR’s Administrative Manager, Mohammed Basheer.
During interrogations that took place on Monday, 23 November, Abdel Razek told his lawyers that he has been kept in a solitary cell, all his belongings and money were confiscated, his head was shaved, and he is sleeping on a metal bed without a mattress or winter clothes. He has not left his solitary cell for three days.
They now join their colleague, Patrick George Zaki, arrested earlier this year. He continues to be detained without trial and after being subjected to torture, including electric shocks. Having worked in EIPR previously and knowing the arrested individuals, I am deeply affected.
But what does this response say about the impunity with which Cairo deals with its allies? More importantly, what should those European and other allies do beyond issuing condemning statements? Can business as usual on fighting terrorism and illegal migration continue for the intermediate and long futures?