Índice AI:  MDE12436816
Referencia:  MDE12436816 -28016
Editor:  Amnistía Internacional
Autor:  Amnistía Internacional
Fecha publicación:  20160713
Tema principal:  EGIPTO
Descriptores:  Desaparición forzada · Tortura y malos tratos · Libertad de expresión · Detención arbitraria · Cargos penales por motivos políticos
Resumen / Descripción:  Cinco años después del levantamiento popular contra el régimen autoritario del presidente Hosni Mubarak, Egipto está atrapado bajo el puño de acero de la represión. Una amplia ofensiva contra la disidencia ha puesto al menos a 34.000 personas – según datos del propio del gobierno - y posiblemente miles más, tras las rejas. Entre ellos se incluyen a cientos de líderes y altos funcionarios de la Hermandad Musulmana, partidarios del depuesto presidente Mohamed Morsi, y numerosos otros críticos y opositores al gobierno. Puesto que las fuerzas armadas derrocaron al presidente Morsi en julio de 2013, decenas de miles de personas han sido detenidas sin juicio o condenados a prisión o a la muerte tras juicios manifiestamente injustos
Grado de seguridad:  Nivel 1
Subtipo de documentos:  Informe temático
Tipo de documento:  Documentación
Idioma:  Inglés
Enlace:  Norte África · Egipto



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© Amnesty International 2016
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Peter Benenson House, 1 Easton Street
London WC1X 0DW, UK

Index: MDE 12/4368/2016
Original language: English


contents                                                         3
glossary                                                          6
1. Executive summary                                                  7
2. Methodology                                                     12
3. Background                                                     14
4. Overview                                                       17
4.1 From Mubarak’s SSI to al-Sisi’s NSA: New name, continued violations                   17
4.2 Arrest and detention statistics                                          19
4.3 Scale of enforced disappearances                                        19
4.4 Profiles of people targeted                                            20
4.5 Duration and places of detentions                                        20
      Nsa Lazoughly office Headquarters of the ministry of interior                          21
      NSA offices in alexandria  Alexandria security directorate                             21
      Nsa office in Tanta, gharbeya central security forces camp                            22
5. Arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced disappearances                          23
      Karim Abd el-Moez Disappeared for almost four months                             25
      the Khalil family Disappeared for up to 122 days                                   26
      The Farag family  disappeared for Over 150 days                                  28
      The el-Hamid family held incommunicado for two weeks, followed by pre-trial detention       29
      Sohaib Saad, Israa al-Taweel & Omar Mohamed Ali Three Friends disappeared for 16 days     30
6. Enforced disappearances  of children                                       32
      Mazen Mohamed Abdallah Fourteen-year-old student, disappeared and raped  in detention    32
      Aser Mohamed, aged 14, disappeared for 34 days                                 34
      Omar Ayman Mohamed Mahmoud, aged 17,  disappeared for 44 days                   36
6.1 Children subjected to enforced disappearance for a second time                      37
      Ebada Ahmed Gomaa                                                     37

                                    3 Amnesty International

      Fifteen-year-old school boy, disappeared for more than 50 days                        37
      Abd el-Rahman Osama, aged 17, subjected to enforced disappearance twice              39
7. Torture and other ill-treatment  of detainees                                   41
7.1 Methods of torture                                                 42
7.2 Cases                                                        42
7.3 Torture and other ill-treatment of children                                   44
      Sexual violence and rape                                                   44
      Suspension by the limbs and electric shocks,  including to the genitals                   45
      Videotaped and photographed confessions                                       46
8. Official denials                                                   47
      Magdy abd el-ghaffar Egypt’s Interior Minister                                    48
      Italian student Giulio Regeni international outcry over torture and enforced disappearance in Egypt        
9. Complicity of prosecutors                                              51
9.1 The Public Prosecution                                              51
9.2 The Supreme State Security Prosecution                                    53
9.3 Criminal Proceedings for children and the Child Prosecution                         54
9.4 Lack of independence of the Public Prosecution from the Executive Authority               55
10. Egypt’s legal obligations                                             56
10.1 International law                                                 56
10.2 Egyptian Constitution and law                                         57
      10.2.1 Arrest and detention                                                 58
      10.2.2 Search powers                                                     58
      10.2.3 Referral to prosecutors following arrest and access to legal counsel                 59
      10.2.4 Right of appeal against detention                                        59
      10.2.5 Prohibition of incommunicado detention or detention in unofficial places of detention    59
      10.2.6 Prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment                                 60
      10.2.7 Children under the law                                               61
11. Conclusion and recommendations                                        63
11.1 Calls on the Egyptian government                                       64
      11.1.1 Establish a Commission of Inquiry                                        64
TREATMENT                               67
      11.1.4 REFORM THE PUBLIC PROSECUTION                                    67

                                    4 Amnesty International

      11.1.5 REPEAL OR SUBSTANTIALLY AMEND REPRESSIVE LAWS                      68
11.2 Calls on the international community                                     68
      11.2.1 Urge Egypt to end enforced disappearances                                 68
      11.2.2 Stop the transfer of arms and equipment that facilitate human rights violations         68

                                    5 Amnesty International


  SSI              State Security Investigations  NSA             National Security Agency CSF              Centr
al Security Forces (riot police) MI               Military Intelligence  CCP              The Code of Criminal Pr
ocedures MB
The Muslim Brotherhood TELEGRAMS       These are postal messages sent by families from post offices across the co
untry to the authorities to report on a disappeared relative after security forces have arrested them

                                    6 Amnesty International


Five years after an explosion of popular resentment against decades of misrule and repression swept aside the aut
horitarian regime of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt is caught in a steely grip of repression. A
sweeping crackdown on dissent has put at least 34,000 persons – by the government’s own admission – and possibly 
thousands more, behind bars. They include hundreds of leaders and senior officials of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)
, supporters of
President Mohamed Morsi, and numerous other critics and opponents of the government. Since the armed forces ouste
d President Morsi in July 2013, tens of thousands of people have been detained without trial or sentenced to pris
on terms or to death
often grossly unfair trials.  The MB, which had enjoyed wide popular support even while previously banned during 
the Mubarak administration, and which had close links to former President Morsi’s Freedom and Justice Party (the 
political wing of
MB in
Egypt), has again been outlawed and declared a “terrorist” organization by the authorities. Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’
s first democratically elected President, has been permanently detained and prevented from receiving family visit
s since his
is now held under sentence of death, together with other MB leaders and political activists. Alongside the govern
ment crackdown, Egypt has suffered a rise in violent attacks by armed groups targeting the police, army, judicial
 officials, foreign
nationals and ordinary citizens. In response, the authorities have adopted a draconian new “Counter-
Terrorism” law and taken further measures which have threatened and eroded human rights.
The past 18 months have also seen the emergence of a new pattern of human rights violations against political act
ivists and protesters, including students and children, hundreds of whom have been arbitrarily arrested and detai
ned and subjected to
enforced disappearance by state agents. Those detained in this way did not have access to their lawyers or famili
es and were held incommunicado outside judicial oversight. Local NGOs allege that an average of three to four peo
ple are abducted and
arbitrarily subjected to enforced disappearance each day.  This pattern of abuse has become particularly evident 
since March 2015 when President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi appointed Major-General Magdy Abd el-Ghaffar as Minister of 
Interior. Before
Interior Minister, Major-General Abd el-Ghaffar held senior positions in the State Security Investigations (SSI),
 the secret police force that became notorious for serious human rights violations under Mubarak, and in the Nati
onal Security Agency
formed to replace the SSI when the authorities bowed to public pressure and in March 2011 announced they were dis
mantling it. Since the appointment of the new minister, the NSA has emerged as the principle state agency engaged
 in suppressing
to the government, committing torture and
other serious human rights violations with impunity. This report is based on more than 70 interviews with lawyers
, NGO workers, released detainees and family members of victims of torture and enforced disappearance. It include
s 17 detailed
of some of the hundreds of victims of these human rights violations in 2015 and 2016, mostly men but also boys as
 young as 14 years old. Amnesty International has communicated its concerns to the authorities in 2014,
2015 and 2016 regarding the use of enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment by the NSA and Militar
y Intelligence (MI). However, the authorities have repeatedly denied these serious human rights
violations and accused Amnesty International of spreading false rumours and supporting “terrorist” groups, includ
ing the MB. The authorities however did not provide factual evidence to corroborate their denials.  EGYPT: ‘OFFIC
DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      7 A
mnesty International

Most of the victims of enforced disappearance have been supporters of former President Morsi, whom the
authorities continue to target, but they also include supporters of other political movements including advocates
 perceived to promote a secular state. Some appear to have been detained and subjected to enforced disappearance 
for up to several
months by
security officials solely or mainly because of their family connections. They were being used as leverage against
 relatives targeted by the authorities. For example, when NSA officers detained activist Nour Khalil they also se
ized his father and
brother, apparently to exert pressure on him during his interrogation. The NSA subjected Nour Khalil’s brother, I
slam Khalil, to 122 days of enforced disappearance (NSA officers apparently confused him with another man, called
 Islam Gamal, who
sought for alleged involvement in violent attacks on the security forces). According to Islam Khalil, NSA officer
s forced him to “confess” to fabricated charges that could be used to sentence him to death.
In most cases that Amnesty International has documented, NSA officers accompanied by members of the security forc
es armed with automatic weapons, detained people after raiding their homes during the hours of darkness, demandin
g entry or forcing
way into homes. In no case did the NSA officials produce judicial arrest or search warrants, nor did they tell de
tainees’ families why they were taking their relatives or where to. They searched detainees’ homes, seizing compu
ters, books and
personal possessions, and examined their mobile phones to find out who they had been in contact with, what messag
es they had sent and received and what use they had made of social media. They handcuffed and blindfolded those t
hey took away and in
cases threatened to beat or arrest family members who protested or demanded to know why they were taking their re
latives away and where to. In other cases, NSA officers warned families against reporting their relative’s detent
ion to the Public
Prosecution or seeking to find out where their relative was detained.  Many victims of enforced disappearance wer
e detained in NSA premises, notably the NSA’s Lazoughly office inside the Ministry of Interior Headquarters in do
wntown Cairo –
only a short distance from Tahrir Square, the focal point of the mass protests that forced President Mubarak from
 power in 2011. Many were also detained in police stations on NSA authority but were excluded from their official
 registers of
some were held in camps of the Central Security Forces (CSF) – the riot police – in Cairo and elsewhere on NSA au
thority. Some detainees suspected of involvement in attacks on the armed forces were taken to Military Intelligen
ce detention
facilities for
interrogation prior to trial before military courts. During interrogations, NSA officers questioned detainees abo
ut their political opinions, such as their views on the MB and Mohamed Morsi, as well as their religious beliefs 
and their
anti-government protests and activities, and their links to others that the authorities were looking for or had a
lready detained.   Victims, including children, and their families told Amnesty International that NSA officers t
ortured and
to other ill-treatment to force them to “confess” to crimes or implicate others. Such “confessions” were then use
d to justify their continued pre-trial detention and as evidence to obtain convictions at trial. In some cases, t
he NSA videotaped
detainees’ “confessions” and released them for local media broadcasting, apparently to convince both the Egyptian
 public and the international community that the MB and Morsi supporters are engaged in “terrorism” and that the 
security forces are
combating such “terrorism” effectively. Such videotaping of “confessions” may also be used by prosecutors and at 
trials to undermine detainees’ attempts to retract them when they appear before the Public Prosecution Offices an
at trial.  Methods of torture reported by victims and witnesses include electric shocks to the body and sensitive
 areas, such as the genitals, lips and ears; prolonged suspension by the limbs while handcuffed and naked; and
sexual abuse, including rape; beatings and threats. Some detainees said they were subjected to the “grill” –
rotation on a bar that was inserted between their tied arms and legs and balanced between two chairs. Most of the
se methods of torture are the same or similar to those that the SSI used against detainees during the Mubarak yea
rs. Some detainees
subjected to enforced disappearance for a few days, but others remained missing and were denied all the time cont
act with their families for weeks or months – up to seven months in the most extreme cases known to Amnesty Inter
national. The period
enforced disappearance ended in most cases when the detainee was taken before a prosecutor for questioning. While
 disappeared, detainees were held incommunicado, most of the time kept handcuffed and blindfolded. The NSA office
rs warned them that
would be hung by their limbs or beaten if they spoke to other detainees or tried to remove the handcuffs and blin
                8 Amnesty International

Detainees’ families and lawyers reported making strenuous yet unsuccessful efforts to locate them during their en
forced disappearance. At police stations and prisons, authorities denied holding their relatives, and inquiries a
t offices of the
Prosecution got them no further. Some families sent telegrams addressed to senior authorities, such as the Minist
ers of Justice and Interior, the Public Prosecutor and the semi-official National Human Rights Council, giving de
tails of their
arrest and disappearance without receiving any response. Some filed missing-person reports before Public Prosecut
ors, only to be referred to other prosecutors or police stations from which they could not obtain any information
. Generally, they
a brick wall of official disinterest and unwillingness to investigate the whereabouts and fate of their missing r
elatives, which only heightened their distress and sense of powerlessness. Indeed, even when some families learnt
 through unofficial
channels – from released detainees or low ranking police officers they had bribed –
where their relatives were detained, the authorities at these facilities continued to deny the detainee’s presenc
e and prevented families from gaining access to them. According to Egyptian law, the Public Prosecution has respo
nsibility for
that all arrests and detentions conform to the law and that the rights of those detained, including protection fr
om torture are not violated. In practice, however, former detainees and detainees’ families and lawyers accuse st
ate prosecutors of
complicit in the human rights violations committed by the NSA. In particular, they accuse prosecutors of failing 
to investigate detainees’ allegations of torture and other ill-treatment, even when detainees who appeared before
 them had bruises or
visible injuries they said were caused by torture. State prosecutors also fail to refer detainees for prompt inde
pendent medical examinations to
document their injuries. They also accuse prosecutors of helping to cover up time periods of enforced disappearan
ce, and the torture that accompanied it, by failing to challenge and correct false arrest dates inserted in offic
ial NSA
reports, which provide the basis for bringing criminal charges against detainees and justifying their continued d
etention before trial.  Prosecutors continue to heavily rely on “confessions” that security officials obtain from
 detainees during
enforced disappearance, even when detainees retract them and allege they were coerced through torture. They also 
rely on such confessions when formulating charges and authorizing continued detention pending trial. When prosecu
tors did decline, in
cases known to Amnesty International, to authorize continued detention and ordered the detainee’s release, the NS
A did not comply but rather subjected the detainee to a further period of enforced disappearance before bringing 
them before a
prosecutor to
face new charges in a separate case using another allegedly coerced “confession”.
One reason for the failure of prosecutors to protect detainees from human rights violations by the NSA is the lac
k of independence of the Public Prosecution Office. Its head, the Public Prosecutor, and all other senior and dis
trict prosecutors
appointed subject to the approval of the President. Furthermore, the Ministry of Justice is empowered to assess t
he performance of Public Prosecutors and discipline them. Police officers may also be appointed to serve as prose
cutors even though
lack qualifications specified in relevant international standards.   Egypt is not party to the International Conv
ention on the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance but it is a party to the Convention against T
orture and Other
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (Convention Against Torture) and other international human rights tr
eaties which, along with Egypt’s Constitution and national laws, absolutely prohibit the practices detailed in th
is report. For
example, the
Egyptian Constitution prohibits arrests and detentions without a reasoned judicial order and further prohibits to
rture, while Egypt’s Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP) requires the police to refer arrested persons to the Public
 Prosecution within
hours of their arrest after which a prosecutor can authorize further detention for renewable periods of four, 15 
and 45 days, except in cases of people arrested under the new Counter-Terrorism Law, which allows police to hold 
a suspect for 24
before referring them to a prosecutor. The prosecutor can then authorize further detention without charge for up 
to seven days during which the authorities can deny the detainee any contact with their family and lawyer. This f
acilitates enforced
disappearances and directly contravenes Egypt’s Constitution, which gives everyone deprived of their liberty the 
right to immediate contact with their family and a lawyer.  Despite the mounting evidence of abuse, the Egyptian 
government continues
deny that its forces commit enforced disappearances, torture and other serious human rights violations. Instead o
f acknowledging and addressing these violations, the government prefers to dismiss the evidence as propaganda put
 out by the MB and
supporters. The government’s denials, however, do not stand up to scrutiny, as the case EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU D
           9 Amnesty

examples cited in this report illustrate. Given the number, range and diversity of victims; the broad consistency
 of their testimonies and of their families’ accounts of their efforts to obtain official acknowledgement of deta
inees’ arrests and
where they were held, there can be no doubt that enforced disappearances are now being used as an element of stat
e policy in Egypt, irrespective of the government’s denials. The repeated failure of prosecutors to investigate d
torture together with their ready acceptance of allegedly coerced “confessions” and their failure to address the 
falsification of arrest dates by NSA officers to conceal the duration of detention indicates too that Egypt’s jud
icial authorities
complicit in these serious human rights violations.  Enforced disappearances, wherever they occur, facilitate tor
ture and other serious violations against detainees. In Egypt, they are used to enable the NSA to torture detaine
es with impunity and
extract “confessions” and other information that can be used to convict them or others under the Penal Code, Coun
ter-Terrorism Law or on other criminal charges, such as participating in anti-government protests. Enforced disap
pearances and
also used to intimidate government critics and opponents and to deter dissent. They form part of a state system o
f repression that allows NSA officers and other security officials to commit serious human rights violations with
 impunity and
criminal judicial system that readily accepts and relies on torture-tainted “confessions” to convict defendants i
n trials that fail to respect the right to due process and often result in long prison terms or death sentences. 
Faced with the
denials, Egyptian human rights groups and activists have courageously sought to expose, document and campaign aga
inst enforced disappearances and other violations against the victims and their families. In August 2015, the Egy
ptian Commission for
and Freedoms (ECRF), a group formed a year earlier, launched a “stop enforced disappearance” campaign to mobilize
 Egyptian public opinion, draw international attention to the violations and advocate on behalf of victims and th
eir right to
remedy, including justice. The authorities subsequently arrested and detained the head of the ECRF and some of it
s staff. By April 2016, Egyptian human rights groups had named more than 1,000 victims of disappearance across th
e country, excluding
Sinai Governorate in the north-east of the country, which is effectively off-limits to human rights groups. The U
N Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has also expressed concern. In its 2015 report,
 WGEID said that in
the 12
months up to May 2015 it had communicated 79 cases to the Egyptian government that illustrated “a recent pattern 
of short-term disappearances” and that it had received a response from the Egyptian government on only six of the
 cases, all of which
government denied were cases of enforced disappearance. Given this cycle of widespread abuse and government denia
l, the abduction and murder of Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni in early 2016 raised suspicion that he may 
have been a victim
enforced disappearance who died under torture while detained by Egyptian state agents. His death and the suspicio
us circumstances surrounding it caused an international outcry and demands for a thorough investigation to reveal
 the truth, identify
perpetrators and deliver justice – demands that have yet to be met. For their part, the Egyptian authorities have
 continued to deny that any state agents were responsible or involved in Giulio Regeni’s killing while offering c
seemingly implausible accounts that have been met with wide scepticism and contributed to a serious diplomatic ri
ft between Italy and Egypt.  In March 2016, the European Parliament condemned Giulio Regeni’s murder and expresse
d concern that it
against a background of torture, deaths in custody and enforced disappearances in Egypt. Italy apart, however, mo
st European and other governments that greeted the popular uprising of 2011 with approval have appeared overly re
luctant to criticize
deteriorating human rights conditions in Egypt. With Egypt seen as a key partner in combating “terrorism,” the go
vernments of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, as well as Russia and China have all received President al-S
isi on official
the past two years. Some governments have also provided direct support to the Egyptian government, despite its de
teriorating human rights record. They include 12 member states of the EU and the United States of America that ha
ve transferred to
security and police equipment of the type used by Egyptian security forces to commit or facilitate serious human 
rights violations. Amnesty International is calling on President al-Sisi to both acknowledge and eradicate the us
e of enforced
disappearances and torture, and to do so without delay. The President should establish an independent commission 
of inquiry to investigate these serious human rights violations and ensure that those responsible are brought to 
justice. As an
step, he should order all detaining authorities to give those currently EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DI
SAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      10 Am
nesty International

subjected to enforced disappearance access to their family and lawyers, and release immediately and unconditional
ly all those held solely for peacefully exercising their rights, including their rights of freedom of expression 
and assembly. All
should use whatever influence they can with the Egyptian authorities to end the use of enforced disappearances, t
orture and other serious human rights violations. In particular, states that have long maintained close diplomati
c, trade and other
with Egypt, including EU member states and the United States of America, should take the lead in pressing the Egy
ptian government to cease these human rights violations, including by barring any further transfers of security, 
policing and
equipment that could be used to commit or facilitate violations, at least until Egypt conducts full prompt, impar
tial and independent investigations into alleged violations and brings those responsible to justice.

                                    11 Amnesty International


This report is based on research that Amnesty International conducted between November 2015 and March 2016, inclu
ding some 70 interviews with former detainees, families and friends of detainees, lawyers, student activist leade
rs and organizers,
rights defenders, political activists and others. Some interviews were conducted by telephone or via the internet
. The report provides details of 17 specific cases –
including five of children under the age of 18 – that exemplify the pattern of enforced disappearances and tortur
e that now prevails in Egypt under the government of President Abd el-Fattah al-Sisi. In 11 of these cases, Amnes
ty International was
to examine the official casefiles as well as other documentation. In the other six cases, lawyers representing vi
ctims of enforced disappearance provided key details of their clients’ cases, including their actual dates of arr
est (subsequently
officially falsified) and enforced disappearance, allegations of torture and other ill-treatment and coerced “con
fessions,” complaints to prosecutors, and charges.
Amnesty International also reviewed the few available forensic medical reports of detainees and former
detainees, all of which found injuries consistent with torture, and for most cases, official records of interroga
tions conducted by prosecutors, the NSA and military investigators. Also, Amnesty International examined records 
of communications
families and lawyers to the Egyptian authorities to report the disappearance of their relatives in detention. The
se records included postal telegram messages sent to the Ministry of Interior as part of the process of corrobora
ting actual arrest
and confirming testimonies of detainees and others that the NSA subsequently falsified these dates to make it app
ear that detainees were arrested only shortly before they were referred to prosecutors for questioning.
The report also draws on a range of public information sources, including international and national media report
s; reports and other documentation, including statistical information obtained from Egyptian NGOs engaged in moni
toring and
against enforced disappearances and torture; and statements by Egyptian government officials denying the pattern 
of torture and enforced disappearance published in the local media, on Youtube or on the official Facebook pages 
of the Ministry of
Interior and other government ministries. Such official postings include videos showing detainees “confessing” to
 serious crimes while held incommunicado and without access to their lawyers and families (who believe that such 
“confessions” were
through torture).

Amnesty International has repeatedly communicated its human rights concerns to the Egyptian government
and urged the government to take prompt and effective measures to cease and prevent arbitrary arrests and detenti
ons, enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment and unfair trials of detainees. Amnesty Internation
al has also called
end to impunity, including prompt independent investigation of torture and other serious human rights violations 
and criminal prosecutions of those who order, perpetrate or condone them. In response, however, the Egyptian gove
rnment has
denied that its forces commit enforced disappearances, torture and other violations and accused Amnesty Internati
onal of publicizing false information in support of the banned MB and supporters of former President Morsi. In a 
press release from
2014, Amnesty International expressed concern about cases of enforced disappearance and torture at

                                    12 Amnesty International

al-Azouly military prison in Ismalia Governorate. Amnesty International’s concerns were further communicated to t
he authorities in June 2014, in a memorandum sent to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defence, and the Natio
nal Council for
Rights. This elicited an outright denial on the part of the authorities saying that no detainees other than milit
ary prisoners were being held at the prison. Similarly, when Amnesty International expressed concern in December 
2015 regarding the
torture, including
the use of rape and electric shocks, of a 14-year-old boy subjected to enforced disappearance, the Ministry of In
terior used its official Facebook page to deny these allegations and assert that the boy had been arrested lawful
ly, promptly taken
before a
prosecutor and not subjected to torture (see below, case of Mazen Mohamed Abdallah). In another six of the 17 cas
es cited, the authorities specifically denied enforced disappearance in responses to Amnesty International or loc
al NGOs, asserting
that the
authorities had disclosed their places of detention.
Amnesty International expresses its gratitude to all those who contributed information to this report, including 
those whose identity, places and dates of interviews have been withheld to protect their personal safety in a con
text where human
monitors and defenders continue to be targeted for repression by Egypt’s security authorities.

                                    13 Amnesty International


On 25 January 2011, mass popular protests broke out in Egypt against the 30-year emergency rule of President Hosn
i Mubarak, which the authorities sought but failed to suppress by force. Eighteen days later, after police and ot
her security forces
killed around 840 protesters and wounded more than 6,000 others, President Mubarak was forced to hand power to th
e Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The SCAF then appointed a new interim government, suspended the 197
1 Constitution,
parliament, issued a Constitutional Declaration guaranteeing certain rights, and released hundreds of administrat
ive detainees held without charge or trial, while maintaining the state of emergency.  In March, the SCAF eased c
urbs on freedom of
association, notably the registration of political parties, enabling the MB and other long banned political organ
izations to legally register political parties. In the same month, the Interior Ministry said it was disbanding t
he State Security
Investigations (SSI), the secret police force that had become notorious under Mubarak for arbitrary detentions, t
orture and other serious human rights violations. The disbanding was announced after protesters, enraged by repor
ts that SSI officers
destroying evidence of their crimes, attacked the SSI headquarters in Cairo and other SSI offices across Egypt. T
he SCAF also ordered the arrest of the SSI’s director, Hassan Abdel-Rahman, for alleged involvement in the killin
gs of protesters in
January-February 2011 and for ordering the destruction of evidence.1 However, the authorities immediately created
 a new security force, the National Security Agency (NSA), to replace the SSI, including many former SSI officers
 within its ranks
conducting effective vetting to weed out those who had committed serious human rights violations.
In March 2012, a new parliament that took office after elections held between November 2011 and January 2012, app
ointed a Constituent Assembly dominated by the MB and other pro-MB parties to draft a new constitution, but this 
was soon mired in
and judicial disputes. A second assembly was formed in June 2012, shortly before the SCAF dissolved the parliamen
t after the Supreme Constitutional Court declared the 2011-2012 elections unconstitutional. Meanwhile, new presid
ential elections
May and June 2012 saw Mohamed Morsi, the candidate of the MB-aligned Freedom and Justice Party, become Egypt’s fi
rst democratically elected president and sworn in on 30 June 2012. Within weeks, Morsi reinstated the parliament 
which was dominated
supporters, overturned new powers that the SCAF had taken for itself shortly before his election victory, “retire
d” leading members of the SCAF and replaced the head of the armed forces with, General Abd el-Fattah al-Sisi, the
 former head of the
Military Intelligence, who he also appointed Defence Minister.
President Morsi faced growing opposition particularly after he issued a controversial decree in November 2012 dec
laring his actions temporarily immune from legal challenge before the Constitutional Court. This sparked new mass
 protests in Cairo
elsewhere. Demonstrations continued in December 2012 when a

1 Hassan Abdel-Rahman faced trial on charges of killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising. He stood trial al
ongside former President Mubarak, former Minister of Interior Habib al-Adly and other senior officials from the I
nterior Ministry. On
2012, the Cairo Criminal Court acquitted Hassan Abdel-Rahman and five other senior officials from the Interior Mi
nistry. The court sentenced Hosni Mubarak and Habib al-Adly to life in prison (a 25-year prison term). The Public
 Prosecutor appealed
court’s decision to acquit Hassan Abdel-
Rahman, but the verdict was upheld by the Cairo Court of Appeals in November 2014 and subsequently by Egypt’s hig
hest court, the Court of Cassation, in June 2015.   EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TORTUR
COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      14 Amnesty International

new constitution, widely seen as favourable to the MB, was adopted by a national referendum, and escalated furthe
r in the first half of 2013 amid repeated violent clashes between pro- and anti-Morsi protesters as well as secta
rian violence. As
situation deteriorated, the armed forces again intervened decisively in the name of restoring order. On 3 July 20
13, General al-Sisi ousted President Morsi from office on the grounds that he had to “prevent bloodshed after Mor
si failed to meet
demands of the Egyptian people and unify them”.2
He also suspended the 2012 Constitution and appointed the President of the Supreme Constitutional Court, Adly Man
sour, as interim President until the election of a new president. Mohamed Morsi was detained and removed to an un
disclosed location.
The army’s action was apparently welcomed by millions of Egyptians but bitterly denounced by others as a coup d’é
tat overthrowing a democratically elected president. Supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the MB and some activist and hu
man rights groups
protests and sit-ins in Cairo mainly in Rabaa al-Adawiya and al-Nahda squares. General al-Sisi called for a natio
nwide show of support for the army and police to give them a mandate to crack down on “terrorism” leading to nati
onwide mass
on 26 July 2013.
On 14 August 2013, the security forces used excessive force, including lethal fire, to clear the sit-ins that mem
bers of the MB and other supporters of Mohamed Morsi had established in the two Cairo squares; the security force
s killed more than
protesters and wounded thousands more. The incidents sparked further widespread violence, including attacks on po
lice stations and Coptic Christian churches by some Morsi and MB supporters. In response, the army-appointed inte
rim government,
declared a
month-long nationwide state of emergency that suspended fair trial and other rights, and imposed a dusk to dawn c
urfew in many areas. The security forces began rounding up MB leaders and other Morsi supporters, thousands of wh
om were later
capital and other serious offences. Hundreds – including Mohamed Morsi and other MB leaders – subsequently were s
entenced to death after unfair mass trials. In September 2013, a court banned the activities of the MB and declar
ed its assets
In November 2013, the new authorities moved to outlaw any further protests against their rule. The interim Presid
ent signed Law No. 107 of 2013 Regulating Public Gatherings, Processions and Peaceful Protests, handing security 
forces sweeping
use lethal force to disperse protests not authorized by the
authorities and providing for heavy sentences reaching up to five years.
In December 2013, the interim government declared the MB a “terrorist” organization following a bomb attack on th
e al-Dakahliya Security Directorate in the city of Mansoura that the authorities attributed to the MB, although w
ithout providing
evidence.3 Membership of the MB can incur the death penalty under the revised Penal Code and the Counter-Terroris
m Law (see below).4

Having resigned from the armed forces in March 2014, Abd el-Fattah al-Sisi became President in June 2014 after he
 defeated his sole opponent in presidential elections held the previous month. Since then, his government has mai
ntained a relentless
crackdown against the MB and Morsi supporters, detaining thousands and referring them to unfair mass trials in wh
ich hundreds have been sentenced to death. Furthermore, hundreds of perceived liberal activists, including promin
ent activists, human
defenders and lawyers were also arrested for criticizing the government or the president. In August 2015, Preside
nt al-
Sisi signed a draconian new “Counter-Terrorism” law that arbitrarily restricts the rights to freedom of expressio
n, peaceful assembly and association while granting the president powers that previously could only be invoked du
ring a state of
taking the country back to a position similar to the 30 years emergency rule of Hosni Mubarak.

2 Abd el-Fattah al-Sisi announced that the army was removing President Mohamed Morsi from power in a televised ad
dress to the nation on 3 July 2013. His address is widely available online, for example: at www.youtube.com/watch
?v=wnjozX0tSPE 3
“Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood declared ‘terrorist group’”, 25 December 2013, available at www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-
25515932; Ahram Online, “15 dead, 134 injured in Egypt’s Mansoura explosion”, 24 December 2013, available at
px 4 Article 86 and 86(bis) of Law No. 58 of 1937 Promulgating the Penal Code; and Articles 12, 13 and 14 of Law 
No. 94 of 2015
The Counter-Terrorism Law.

                                    15 Amnesty International

In the first half of 2016, the authorities have intensified their repression campaign even further by targeting E
gypt’s independent civil society and media workers. In an unprecedented crackdown, many NGO workers, including th
ose working against
enforced disappearances, have been detained, ill-treated and charged with “terrorism” offences. Others have faced
 travel bans, asset freezes and questioning by state officials. Journalists have also been arrested, detained and
 subjected to unfair
for merely doing their job. In May 2016, armed security forces raided the Egyptian Press Syndicate. This was the 
first attack on the Syndicate since it was established in 1941. The head and other senior members of the Press Sy
ndicate were
detained briefly and referred to trial on trumped-up charges including publicizing false news.

The same period has seen an unprecedented security threat with violent attacks by armed groups, particularly in N
orth Sinai Governorate, targeting ordinary residents, members of the judiciary, as well as security forces.5 The 
victims include the
than 220 passengers and crew of a Russian airliner blown up over North Sinai Governorate in October 2015, and the
 Public Prosecutor Hisham Barakat, assassinated in Cairo in June 2015, as well as three judges shot dead in North
 Sinai Governorate
2015. At least 700 police and army officers have been killed in attacks across the country since 3 July 2013. In 
one attack in Helwan, south Cairo, on 8 May 2016, armed gunmen ambushed a white microbus – a vehicle frequently u
sed by NSA officers
Criminal Investigation officers – killing all of its eight passengers, who were plain-
clothed police officers belonging to the Helwan Criminal Investigation Unit. The armed group Sinai Province, affi
liated to the Iraq and Syria-based armed group that calls itself Islamic State (IS), among other armed groups, cl
aimed that it
the above mentioned attacks. The Egyptian Government has used security threats like this as a pretext to clampdow
n on human rights while maintaining to the world that it is combatting terrorism, both domestically and in the re
gion, in order to
security after years of turmoil in the country.

5 Amnesty International unreservedly condemns all attacks targeting civilians and calls for those responsible for
                                                16 Amnesty International


 WHAT IS AN ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE? The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced 
Disappearance (ICPPED) sets out three core elements for an enforced disappearance:
    ·   There is an arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty;  ·   That conduct i
s carried out by agents of the state or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or
 acquiescence of the
and  ·   The conduct is followed either by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment 
of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which places such a person outside the protection of the la
 Although the word “disappearance” might imply an innocuous or non-violent act, in reality, enforced disappearanc
es are particularly cruel and violent human rights violations. Enforced disappearances affect not only the disapp
eared, who are cut
the outside world and made vulnerable to human rights abuses such as torture, sexual violence and even murder, bu
t also their families and friends, who are often forced to wait years before they find out the fate of the abduct
ed person.
4.1 FROM MUBARAK’S SSI TO AL-SISI’S NSA: NEW NAME, CONTINUED VIOLATIONS Egypt’s armed forces, headed by then Gene
ral al-Sisi, led the brutal crackdown that accompanied and followed the ousting of Mohamed Morsi from the preside
ncy in July 2013.
Initially, as the successor to the widely feared, and publicly reviled SSI,6 the NSA maintained a low profile. Si
nce early 2015, however, it has played a key role in the continued clampdown on political protests and other oppo
sition and has been
primary agency responsible for the rise of enforced disappearances across Egypt.
As one of its first acts, the interim government that took office following the removal of President Mubarak anno
unced in March 2011 that it was dismantling the SSI. Mansour el-Essawy, the Minister of Interior, said that the a
uthorities aimed to
maintain an internal security apparatus but wished to absorb popular anger against the SSI, which had become noto
rious for arbitrary detentions, torture and abuses under Mubarak.7
The announcement followed the storming and burning of SSI premises in Cairo, Alexandria and other governorates by
 angry protesters, who found torture rooms and equipment and hastily shredded records of past SSI abuses when the
y gained entry.8 The
Minister said that a new National Security Agency (NSA)

6 Amnesty International, Egypt: Systematic abuses in the name of security (Index: MDE 12/001/2007).  7 Al Kahera 
Wal Nas, “Major General Mansour el-Essawy reveals the secrets of the State Security apparatus in the ‘black box’ 
[original in
December 2013, available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4fIBw7Lu_o 8 BBC, “History’s lessons: Dismantling Egypt’s se
curity agency”, 9 March 2011, available at www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-
                                               17 Amnesty International

would replace the SSI and would include former SSI officers within its ranks9. He did not say whether the authori
ties would establish any vetting system to weed out those responsible for torture and other crimes and barred the
m from service in
and no such vetting is known to have taken place. The Minister said in a TV interview:  “The names of the SSI off
icers were posted on Facebook with their addresses after the storming of the SSI premises in different governorat
es; I had to protect
and accordingly announced the dismantling of the SSI and I only changed the name of the SSI to NSA to calm down t
he people but kept almost the same SSI officers.”10  In its early days, the NSA maintained a low profile, possibl
y because of
public animosity towards its predecessor body and because many names and addresses of SSI officers were published
 on social media and some faced the threat of violent retaliation for the SSI’s violations under Mubarak. Once th
e armed forces had
President Morsi from power, however, the NSA became more prominent. In July 2013, for example, Amnesty Internatio
nal documented the involvement of NSA officers in detaining, blindfolding and interrogating protesters after they
 were arrested from
Rabaa al-Adawiya sit-in.11 NSA officers were then reported to be participating in police interrogations of suspec
ted government opponents, such as members of the MB and Morsi supporters. Since March 2015, the NSA has appeared 
to be the lead
responsible for arresting, detaining and building criminal cases against political suspects, holding many in inco
mmunicado detention and subjecting them to enforced disappearance and torture. Those subjected to enforced disapp
earance eventually
after their interrogation is completed and they are to be formally questioned by prosecutors, who either charge t
hem and order their pre-trial detention in a prison or police station or order their release.
The NSA has emerged as the main agency responsible for unlawful or arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced dis
appearances since President al-Sisi’s appointment of Magdy Abd el-Gaffar, a former senior officer of both the SSI
 and NSA, as
Interior in March 2015.12 According to lawyers of victims of enforced disappearance and others, since Magdy Abd e
l-Gaffar’s appointment, the Interior Ministry has exhibited an “NSA mentality”, meaning that the NSA appears free
 to target virtually
they suspect of links with the MB, Mohamed Morsi, or of planning protests or other actions against the government
 or the law.
The NSA’s main mandate, however, according to Ministerial Decree No. 445 of 2011, the unpublished secret decree w
hich dismantled the SSI and created the new NSA, is to “maintain internal stability of the Egyptian State, inform
ation collection and
counter terrorism”. This includes targeting members of armed groups including Sinai Province which has claimed re
sponsibility for most of the armed attacks since July 2013. The NSA does this in close co-ordination with the Gen
eral Intelligence
which is responsible for collecting information about internal and external threats against the country.

9 Al Kahera Wal Nas, “Major General Mansour el-Essawy reveals the secrets”, available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=
a4fIBw7Lu_o 10 Al Kahera Wal Nas, “Major General Mansour el-Essawy reveals the secrets” (at 11:25). 11 Amnesty In
ternational, Egypt:
of Muslim Brotherhood Members and Supporters (Index: MDE 12/035/2013).

12 CNN, “Who is Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, Egypt’s new Minister of Interior? [original in Arabic]”, 5 March 2015, avail
able at arabic.cnn.com/middleeast/2015/03/05/egypt-new-interior-minister-bio  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIS
TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      18 Amnesty Internat

4.2 ARREST AND DETENTION STATISTICS Thousands of people in Egypt are currently detained without trial or serving 
lengthy prison sentences imposed after unfair trials on account of their real or perceived opposition to the gove
rnment of President
Sisi. Supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi as well as leaders and members of the MB continue to be partic
ularly targeted.
According to the government, its security forces arrested almost 22,000 suspects in 2013 and 2014,13
including some 3,000 top and middle-level MB leaders and members.14 In 2015, according to the Ministry of Interio
r, the security forces arrested almost 12,000 further suspects,15 mostly MB members and supporters of Mohamed Mor
si, including
academics, engineers, medical professionals. Hundreds more are held under sentence of death, including former Pre
sident Mohamed Morsi, his supporters and leaders of the MB.
Some rights groups estimate that as many as 60,000 people have been detained for political reasons since July 201
3.16 Ten new prisons are reported to have been built or planned between 2013 and 2016 to accommodate the rising n
umbers of

4.3 SCALE OF ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCES  Amnesty International is not able to say precisely how many people have bee
n subjected to enforced disappearance by the Egyptian authorities since the beginning of 2015 or to specify the c
urrent number. By
nature, cases of enforced disappearance are particularly difficult to identify and document due to the official s
ecrecy that surrounds them and some families’ fears that they might inadvertently place detainees in greater jeop
ardy if they report
enforced disappearance to human rights NGOs, the media or others.
However, through documentation and figures provided by different Egyptian NGOs and rights groups, it is evident t
hat at least several hundred Egyptians were disappeared since the beginning of 2015 with a reported average of th
ree or four people
subjected to enforced disappearance each day since the beginning of 2015. Three criteria were used by Egyptian NG
Os to determine whether an individual was subjected to enforced disappearance: they were arrested by state agents
; they were held in
undisclosed location for a period exceeding 48 hours without referral to the Public Prosecution, and outside of t
he oversight of the judiciary; and the authorities denied that the individual was in their custody when the famil
y inquired about
In June 2015, the “Freedom for the Brave” campaign18 reported that it had documented 163 cases of enforced disapp
earance in April and May 2015 alone19. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms reported in April 2016 tha
t it documented 544
of enforced disappearance over an eight-month period, between August 2015 and March 2016, making it an average of
 two or three persons forcibly disappeared each day20. The Egyptian Co-ordination for Rights and Freedoms reporte
d in January 2016

13 Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, “The Executive Summary Of The Fact-Finding Commission’s Report: [sic]
 Falls Short Of Expectations”, 4 December 2014, available at eipr.org/en/pressrelease/2014/12/04/2293   14 AP, “E
gypt crackdown
arrests in decades”, 16 March 2014, available at www.bigstory.ap.org/Article/egypt-crackdown-brings-
most-arrests-decades  15 Mada Masr, “Almost 12,000 people arrested for terrorism in 2015: Interior Ministry”, 30 
October 2015, available at www.madamasr.com/news/almost-12000-people-arrested-terrorism-2015-interior-ministry  1
6 The claim was
example, by the Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information on his Twitter account on 1
3 January 2016. The post is available at www.twitter.com/gamaleid/status/687374746086957056. 17 Huffington Post A
rabic, “Egypt is
building a
new prison, in Giza, and the numbers [of new prisons] will reach 16 in the era of al-Sisi” [original in Arabic], 
14 January 2016, available at www.huffpostarabi.com/2016/01/14/story_n_8976396.html  18 “Freedom for the Brave” i
s a campaign started
Egyptian activists in late 2013 to promote the rights of prisoners and detainees.   19 “Freedom for the Brave”, “
Documented cases of ‘enforced disappearances and detention without investigation’ in Egypt since April 2015”, 7 J
une 2015, available
www.facebook.com/Al7oriallgd3an/posts/695600770551785 20 See Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, The for
cibly disappeared, awaiting justice, 22 December 2015 available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5rfCEjP5e6Ye
Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, Report on EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TOR
TURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      19 Amnesty Internation

documented 1,023 cases of enforced disappearance during the first eight months of 2015, and in total 1,840 cases 
were reported to them by the end of 2015, this was an average of four to five persons each day.21 The Egyptian Co
-ordination for
Freedoms also told Amnesty International in May 2016 that between January and 15 May 2016, it had documented 630 
cases of enforced disappearance, an average of three to four persons forcibly disappeared each day.

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) has also expressed concern. In its 2015 re
port, WGEID said that in the 12 months up to May 2015, it had communicated 79 cases to the Egyptian government th
at illustrated “a
pattern of short-term disappearances” and that it had received a response from the Egyptian government on only si
x of the cases, all of which the government denied were cases of enforced disappearance.
4.4 PROFILES OF PEOPLE TARGETED  In most cases known to Amnesty International, those subjected to enforced disapp
earance by the NSA were perceived supporters of Mohamed Morsi and/or the MB. They were mostly males ranging from 
adults in their
fifties to
boys aged 14. They include students, academics and other activists, peaceful critics and protesters, and family m
embers of perceived government critics. According to lawyers involved in their cases, around 90% of those who are
 subjected to
disappearance are subsequently processed through the criminal justice system on charges such as planning or parti
cipating in unauthorized protests or attacking members of the security forces.
4.5 DURATION AND PLACES OF DETENTIONS In the cases known to Amnesty International, victims of enforced disappeara
nce were held for periods ranging from four days to seven months. During their enforced disappearance, they were 
detained in police
stations, Central Security Forces (CSF) camps intended for training and accommodation of riot police and in NSA o
ffices. Those who were held longest, were usually detained in NSA premises. Egyptian law prohibits holding detain
ees in unofficial
places of
detention to which the judiciary has no access and so is unable to conduct inspection visits and investigate susp
ected cases of arbitrary detention without a judicial order.  Egyptian law and regulations consider police statio
ns and prisons to be
official places of detention to which the judiciary have access. Central Security Forces camps were not considere
d official places of detention until 2013 when former Minister of Interior, Mohamed Ibrahim, issued a decree desi
gnating CSF camps
places of detention, informing the Public Prosecutor that these are now included among the list of official place
s of detention.
NSA offices across the country are still not official places of detention. Therefore, no judge or prosecutor has 
the authority to inspect NSA offices and in almost all cases documented by Amnesty International, families or law
yers were not able
the whereabouts of their relatives while they were held incommunicado in such offices. Families and lawyers repea
tedly told Amnesty International that “officially, you do not exist”, and the only way for them to know the where
abouts of detainees
be through released detainees who had been in NSA offices.
Amnesty International is not in a position to list all unofficial and official places of detention. This report d
ocuments cases of detention in a number of locations across the country.

monitored cases of enforced disappearance in the period from 1 December 2015 to 31 March 2016, 11 April 2016, ava
ilable at www.ec-
rf.org/?p=1403  21 See Egyptian Co-ordination for Rights and Freedoms [sic], Human Rights in Egypt …where to? [si
c] The annual report of 2015, January 2016, available at www.slideshare.net/ecrf/the-annual-report-of-2015-human-
                             20 Amnesty International


                                       The Lazoughly NSA Office is located inside the headquarters of the Ministr
y of Interior in downtown Cairo. It is the most common place of detention in Cairo and, according to detainees, t
he most notorious
Lazoughly NSA Office is located just a few metres from the Tahrir Square, the symbolic square of the 2011 January
 uprising that overthrew former President Mubarak.
                                       © Google Earth and DigitalGlobe Inc.

    The 6th October NSA Office is another detention centre. It is located in the 6th October Governorate in Great
er Cairo. There are also numerous police stations across Cairo that are used by NSA officers to detain people inc
and Second Nasr City Police Stations, Dar al-Salam Police Station, and Basateen Police Station.
                                       In Alexandria, detainees are usually held in the NSA offices inside the Al
exandria Security Directorate on the fourth and seventh floor. This office is located in New Semouha district on 
the Alexandria-Cairo
Agricultural Highway.
                                       © Google Earth and DigitalGlobe Inc.

    Another Alexandria NSA Office is located in the district of Abees, also on the Alexandria-Cairo Agricultural 

                                    21 Amnesty International

                                       Detainees told Amnesty International that they were held in the Central Se
curity Forces camp in the city of Tanta in Gharbeya Governorate. The camp has NSA sub-offices that are used by NS
A officers to
people and subject them to torture and other ill-treatment. These are typically training camps for the riot polic
e control.
                                       © Google Earth and CNES/Astrium.

   In Gharbeya Governorate, in the north of the country, detainees are typically held also in the main NSA Office
 located in the city of Tanta.

                                    22 Amnesty International


  “All I wanted to know was whether
  my son was dead or alive.”

  The father of a victim of enforced disappearance, speaking to Amnesty International
According to victims and witnesses, a typical enforced disappearance starts with NSA officers in plain clothes, s
upported by heavily armed black-clad special forces with their faces concealed (known as the “Counter-Terrorism –
 Special Forces
and other police forces from a nearby police station, arriving at a suspect’s home at night or in the early hours
 of the morning, forcing their way in at gunpoint. These forces usually come in a convoy of armoured and other ve
hicles, led by NSA
in a white microbus without licence plates. They divide into three groups, positioning one group in the street to
 deter onlookers and a second on the stairs or other points of entry to the target residence while the third, inc
luding NSA officers,
demands or uses force to gain entry. Once inside, the NSA officers detain, handcuff and blindfold their suspect, 
search the premises for weapons or other incriminatory material and seize mobile phones, computers and other poss
essions before
suspect away.
Egyptian law requires that all arrests and searches must be authorized by a judicial order but in all of the case
s that Amnesty International has documented, NSA officers failed to produce judicial arrest and search warrants.2
2 Some family
they asked to see such warrants; others said they felt too intimidated to ask. One said an NSA officer told him: 
“We are a sovereign authority and we do not require such warrants to arrest people.” Others said officers threate
ned to arrest or
them for asking to see arrest or search warrants.

22 Articles 54 and 58 of The Constitution of the Arab Republic of Egypt (the Constitution), available at: www.sis
en001.pdf ; and Articles 40 and 91 of the CCP. These provisions strictly prohibit the arbitrary arrest of people 
without a judicial order, or the search, monitoring or entering of houses without a reasoned judicial order stati
ng the exact time,
and reason behind the search. International law also prohibits arrests without judicial warrants. See, for exampl
e, Article 17 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 6 of the African Charter on Hu
man and Peoples’
Rights and
Article 14 of the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Egypt has ratified all of these treaties and is and thereby commi
                                          23 Amnesty International

NSA officers did not tell families the reason why or to where they were taking those they detained. They mostly w
arned families against trying to locate the detainee although in a few cases they falsely told families that they
 were taking the
to a particular police station.
Those detained by the NSA were held incommunicado – for between four days and seven months in NSA premises or pol
ice stations, or CSF camps and denied access to lawyers or any contact with their families.23
They were held in conditions of enforced disappearance; the authorities did not acknowledge their arrest and dete
ntion and their families were unable to obtain any information about them when they inquired at police stations a
nd approached the
Ministries of Interior and Justice and the Public Prosecution.
The authorities’ refusal to acknowledge detentions persisted even after detainees’ enforced disappearance ended. 
Once the NSA had completed their interrogation and took them to a Public Prosecutor for questioning and to lay ch
arges, the NSA
false dates of arrest in official documents to conceal how long they had held the detainee and make it appear tha
t they had been arrested lawfully and in conformity
with the constitutional requirements. Article 54 stated that police must transfer everyone they arrest to a compe
tent prosecutor within 24 hours.24 Failure to meet this requirement, lawyers say, may lead to a court dismissing 
a case on procedural
Most detainees were not permitted to contact their families or have access to legal counsel during their enforced
 disappearance and until after the prosecutor had questioned and charged them. Most detainees allege that they we
re subjected to
torture and
other ill-treatment by NSA interrogators and low-ranking police officers to extract “confessions” or other incrim
inatory information for use in future trials and prosecutions.25  Some victims of enforced disappearance were det
ained in police
from which NSA officers took them out to identify other suspects, including people listed in their phone or socia
l media records, while others were held mostly in NSA premises in which they were interrogated and tortured. The 
following cases
this broad pattern of violations.

23 Some detainees never appeared again after they were believed to be abducted by the security forces. The most w
ell-known cases are those of Ashraf Shehata and Mostafa Masouny. Egyptian Chronicles, “nobody wants to tell us wh
ere #shehata and
are”, 4 November 2015, available at www.egyptianchronicles.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/nobody-wants-to-tell-us-where-s
hehata.html 24 Article 54 of the Constitution states: “Every person whose freedom is restricted shall be immediat
ely notified of the
therefore; shall be informed of his/her rights in writing; shall be immediately enabled to contact his/her relati
ves and lawyer; and shall be brought before the investigation authority within twenty four (24) hours as of the t
ime of restricting
25 In Arabic, such low-ranking officers are known as “ameen shorta”. The term refers to an officer who holds a hi
gh-school diploma and has graduated from one of the police institutions, rather than the Police Academy where pol
ice officers train.
mandate is to assist police officers in their work, including arrests, investigations, collecting evidence, traff
ic control, and other areas of work. They do not receive any human-rights training.  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO N
TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      24 Amnesty Internat


                                       Karim Abd el-Moez, aged 22, was tortured with
                                       electric shocks and forced to confess to belonging to the armed group that
 calls itself the Islamic State. His father was not able to locate him for the period of his enforced disappearan
ce of almost four
and told Amnesty International: “All I wanted to know was whether my son was dead or alive”, and that the uncerta
inty had devastated and anguished him.                                                      © Private, used with 
   Karim Abd el-Moez, an engineering student aged 22, was subjected to enforced disappearance for almost four mon
ths. NSA officers took him from his family’s home in the Dar al-Salam district of Cairo at around 2:30am on 6 Aug
ust 2015. His
el-Moez Mohamed, told Amnesty International that a group of heavily armed security forces arrived outside the fam
ily’s home in two pick-up trucks and an armoured vehicle, saying they had come to arrest a “terrorist”. Some of t
he security forces
position outside of neighbouring homes, threatening to assault anyone who should emerge, while a group of about 1
0 plain-clothed NSA officers and men in black uniform carrying automatic weapons, with their faces covered, force
d their way into the
and seized, handcuffed, blindfolded and gagged Karim. They searched the house, taking away Karim’s phone, laptop 
and identity card, as well as some papers and books. They did not produce a judicial warrant authorizing their se
arch or arrest or
reason for detaining him. One NSA officer told Karim’s father: “You did not raise your son well. We are taking hi
m to teach him some manners.”

   The family sought to find out where Karim had been taken by asking about their son at several Cairo police sta
tions. The authorities all denied holding him. The family also filed a complaint with the Dar al-
   Salam Public Prosecution Office in Cairo, which proved unsuccessful.
   It was not until more than three months later that Karim’s family were able to locate him. He remained a victi
m of enforced disappearance until his family learnt on 18 November 2015, from someone who had visited another pri
soner there, that
Karim was
then held at Tora Istiqbal Prison, accused of belonging to the armed group that calls itself Islamic State. Abd e
l-Moez Mohamed told Amnesty International that until then, the family had been in anguish about Karim: “All I wan
ted to know was
whether my
son was dead or alive.” The family sought to visit Karim at the prison, whose authorities confirmed that he was h
eld there, but were told that they must wait 15 days before they could see him. As of 1 July June 2016, Karim rem
ained at Tora
Prison facing trial on charges that could result in the death penalty.26
In some cases, those detained included not only the NSA’s main suspect but also other members of their
family, apparently to pressurise them into “confessing” to crimes.

26 Case No. 672 of 2015, Supreme State Security. EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED 
IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      25 Amnesty International


                                       Nour Khalil, aged 22, a political activist, was detained alongside his fat
her and brother by security forces. Nour Khalil was the principal target of the security forces but it is believe
d that his father
brother were arrested to put pressure on him to co-operate with the NSA.  When Nour Khalil asked to see his broth
er and father, the NSA officers told him that they were held downstairs in the same building, and that they could
 arrest his mother
sisters if he failed to provide them with the information they wanted.
                                       © Private, used with permission.

  Nour Khalil, a 22-year old law student and activist, perceived to advocate a secular state, was previously acqu
itted of participating in illegal protests in 2014. On 24 May 2015, NSA officers and other heavily armed security
 forces raided his
home in al-Santa, Gharbeya Governorate and detained him together with his father, el-Said Khalil, a retired armed
-forces officer, and brother, Islam Khalil, a salesman aged 26. Nour said it was the eighth time the security for
ces had raided his
home but on the previous occasions, he had been absent and the security forces had told his family that he should
 hand himself over to the police as they wanted to question him about his political activities but he had not don
e so.
  Nour was asleep when the security forces, carrying automatic weapons and led by plain-clothed NSA officers, bro
ke in to his family home in the early hours of the morning. He awoke as several armed men stormed into his room. 
They pulled him from
bed and forced him to kneel. An NSA officer carrying a pistol then entered the room, pulled Nour’s T-shirt over h
is face and handcuffed his wrists behind his back, while another man pointed a gun at Nour’s head, threatening to
 shoot him if he

  Nour’s parents asked to see a judicial warrant but were told by the NSA officers that they did not have or need
ed them and that anyone who resisted them would be at risk. The officers seized Nour’s laptop and phone, and over
 60 of his books,
the T-shirt from his face, blindfolded him with another cloth and took him away in his pyjamas. As he was walked 
out, he was surprised to hear an officer order: “Bring his brother as well”, as he knew that Islam disliked polit
ics, had no
affiliation” and had been present but not arrested during previous security forces’ raids on their home. Nour Kha
lil described his arrest to Amnesty International: “The security agents took me to the police vehicle parked outs
ide the house...
[security forces] stayed in the house for around 20 minutes and I was in the police vehicle outside… Whoever from
 the neighbours tried to even open the windows to look at what was happening, the security agents would shout and
 threaten them
will shoot you’, and would order them to close the windows. Then the police vehicles started to move and there we
re around seven police pick-up trucks [Toyota double-cabin pick-up trucks]. I was able to EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU
AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      26 Amnesty Inte

  know because I could see through the cloth over my eyes given it was a little transparent… I thought they did n
ot arrest my brother Islam and that they had let him go, however I discovered later that they arrested my brother
 Islam and my

  The security officials took Nour Khalil to the NSA offices in Tanta, pulling him by his hair from the vehicle. 
He heard an officer say: “Take him to the fourth floor”, known as “hell” by local people as a place used to tortu
re detainees. After
removing his handcuffs, an NSA officer interrogated Nour Khalil about his political activities and beliefs for ab
out six hours, periodically removing his blindfold to show him photographs of MB activists that he did not know. 
The officer told him
his father and brother had also been detained and threatened to detain his mother and sister unless he co-operate
d. After the interrogation, he was held in one of four solitary confinement cells in a nearby building, given bre
ad and water and
beaten with batons on his arms and shoulders by three guards when he told them he would go on hunger strike unles
s he was taken before a prosecutor.
  He remained in the cell for four days being taken out twice a day for questioning, and managed to speak briefly
 to his brother Islam, who said he had been questioned about “terrorist” activities (NSA officers apparently conf
used him with
Islam Gamal, also known as Islam Abu Tereka, who they sought for alleged involvement in violent attacks on the se
curity forces).
  The NSA released Nour Khalil after four days, on 28 May 2015, dropping him at the side of a road after warning 
him not to disclose his detention and enforced disappearance to the media and human rights groups as this could h
arm his father and
who were both still in NSA detention.
  After her husband and sons were detained, Nour Khalil’s mother immediately contacted Tanta’s Attorney General, 
who referred her on to the al-Santa Prosecution Office, who referred her to a local police station where she was 
held for two hours,
had her
bag and phone searched, and was told not to file further reports. She persisted nevertheless, sending telegrams i
nquiring about her husband and two sons to the
  Public Prosecutor, Minister of Interior and NSA director for Gharbeya Governorate – all without any response.
  The NSA released Nour’s father on 8 June 2015, after 15 days of enforced disappearance. He had apparently been 
held to put pressure on Nour and Islam. He was not interrogated and was released without charge.

                                       The picture to the left shows Islam Khalil before he disappeared, the one 
on the right shows him after 122 days of enforced disappearance, still in the clothes he wore on his arrest. The 
picture was taken
after he
appeared before the East Alexandria Public Prosecution Office for questioning on 21 September 2015.  Islam Khalil
 disappeared for 122 days in NSA offices in Tanta and Cairo. He was tortured including with electric shocks and w
as suspended from
limbs, while naked, for days.
                                       © Private, used with permission.

                                    27 Amnesty International

  Islam Khalil, however, was not released. As of 1 July 2016, he remained in detention at Borg al-Arab Prison in 
Alexandria awaiting trial on charges of belonging to the banned MB, inciting violence and attacking the security 
forces. If
could face the death penalty. His official case file gives his date of arrest as 20 September 2015 whereas in rea
lity, the NSA detained him almost four months earlier, on 24 May 2015. This falsification of his arrest date appe
ars intended to
the unlawful nature of his arrest and the almost four months during which the NSA held him in conditions of enfor
ced disappearance.
  Islam Khalil had not been politically active, according to his brother Nour, yet the Ministry of Interior denie
d that he was in detention for 122 days, even though other released detainees said they had seen him at the Centr
al Security Forces
camp in Tanta, apparently ill and suffering from the effects of torture.
  During his enforced disappearance, Islam Khalil was first held at the NSA’s Tanta office, where he alleges he w
as tortured into making a “confession” before being transferred to the NSA’s Cairo headquarters where he was tort
ured again. His
learnt of his whereabouts when the authorities informed them on 24 September 2015 that he was held at Alexandria’
s Karmouz Prison awaiting trial.

  At Tanta, Islam was held in a tiny cell on whose walls previous detainees had scribbled messages dating back to
 the late 1980s, a time before he was born. Islam Khalil also said that a guard hit and threatened to whip him af
ter he called out to
brother Nour to ask if he was all right.


                                       Atef Farag (to the right) and his son Yehia Farag (to the left). Both men 
were held in the NSA Lazoughly office inside the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in Cairo for 159 days u
nder conditions of
disappearance. The father was singled out for torture and the son was arrested to pressurize the father to confes
s to fabricated offences.
                                       © Private, used with permission.

   Security forces detained Atef Mohamed Farag, a trader aged 48, and his son, Yehia Farag, aged 22, after raidin
g their apartment in the six-storey building they own in Cairo’s Mansheyet Nasr district at around 4:00am on 28 J
uly 2015. According
Bakr Farag, a son of Atef Farag who was present, the raid was conducted by several NSA officers, backed up by som
e 30 security forces carrying automatic weapons. They searched the family’s and some of their neighbours’ apartme
nts and detained
Yehia Farag without producing any judicial warrant. Abu Bakr told Amnesty International:

27 The CSF are riot-control police and they have their own training camps across the country. However, these camp
s are sometimes used to detain people when prisons and police stations are overwhelmed by numbers of detainees. T
he NSA has offices
of these camps and uses them to hold detainees incommunicado.  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED
 AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      28 Amnesty Int

   “After they stormed the building, [the security forces] smashed the doors of our flats and the neighbours’ fla
ts and searched them and seized a large amount of money that belonged to my father and all the family’s phones, w
hich they checked to
what calls and messages had been made or received, computers, and various papers.”

   The NSA officers blindfolded and handcuffed Atef Farag and his four sons, questioning the sons about their rel
igious beliefs and activities, including which mosques they attended, before driving Atef and
   Yehia away in an unlicensed white micro-bus to a destination they refused to disclose. The family assumed that
 Atef had been detained because he had participated in the sit-in protest at Rabaa al-
   Adawiya Square in Cairo against Mohamed Morsi’s ousting and that Yehia, who has a disability, had been
   taken in order to put pressure on his father.
   Abu Bakr went to Mansheyet Nasr Police Station a few hours after they were taken away to inquire about
   his father and brother. An officer there confirmed that they were held by the NSA but told him not to file a r
eport with the local prosecutor. However, he did file a report which the prosecutor followed up more than three m
onths later,
in a
communication from the police to the prosecutor dated 16 November 2015. In this, the police confirmed that Atef a
nd Yehia Farag were held by the NSA. However, the NSA investigation report submitted to the State Security Prosec
utor, when the two
first appeared before him on 3 January 2016, gives their date of arrest as 2 January 2016. By claiming that the t
wo men had spent no more than 24 hours in detention, the NSA report seeks to conceal their more than 150 days of 
incommunicado detention and torture. After questioning Atef and Yehia Farag, the prosecutor charged them with mem
bership of the banned MB and authorized their continued detention. As of 1 July 2016, both men were still at Tora
 Istiqbal Prison


  Security forces detained Yehia Abd el-Hamid and his son, Mahmoud Abd el-Hamid, aged 22, on 19 October 2015 in a
 late night raid on their home in Alexandria, apparently because they suspected them of participating in protests
 and supporting
Morsi and the MB.
  Yehia Abd el-Hamid’s daughter told Amnesty International that she returned home and found the street “completel
y blocked with security forces, heavily armed and covering their faces”. By then, the security forces were prepar
ing to leave. She
they had smashed through both an iron outer door and a wooden inner door to gain entry to the family’s apartment,
 whose contents, some broken, had been strewn about as officers searched the home. They had taken away the family
’s computers and
(around USD1,020) in cash was missing. Neighbours told her that the security forces had taken her father and brot
her from the apartment “blindfolded and handcuffed on the back.”

  For two weeks, the family could not obtain any information about the two detained men. They inquired at police 
stations, prosecutors’ offices and the Alexandria Security Directorate without any result. Then, they learnt from
 a low rank police
after paying him, that Yehia and Mahmoud were being held in the
  NSA’s Alexandria Security Directorate on the fourth floor which belongs to the NSA.

                                    29 Amnesty International

  The Ministry of Interior said on 6 November28 that they had arrested the two men with 15 other MB members and a
ccused them of blocking Alexandria sewerage and drainage system causing floods in the city following heavy rain o
n 2 and 3 November –
which time the two men had already been in detention for two weeks under conditions of enforced disappearance.
  As of 1 June 2016, both men remained in pre-trial detention on charges of belonging to a banned organization, d
isturbing public order and harming national interests. They could face lengthy prison terms or the death penalty.

Some victims of enforced disappearance were detained in public places, sometimes together with friends, by securi
ty officials who searched their phones looking for images – such as the four-finger ‘Rabaa’ salute signifying opp
osition to Mohamed
overthrow – or messages about protests or other opposition activity.

                                       Sohaib Saad, to the left, Omar Mohamed Ali, in the middle, and Israa al-Ta
weel, to the right.  The three friends were abducted in the street on 1 June 2015 by Egypt’s security forces and 
disappeared for 16
The Ministry of Interior kept denying that they were holding them. After 16 days, they appeared in Cairo prisons 
charged with belonging to “terrorist” groups.

                                       © Private, used with permission.
  NSA officials detained Sohaib Saad, aged 22, Israa al-Taweel, aged 23, and Omar Mohamed Ali, aged 23, on 1 June
 2015 as they left a restaurant in Cairo’s affluent Zamalek district. Sohaib Saad, a photojournalist, had then be
en on bail while
trial along with three Al Jazeera journalists and required to report to the police each day. Omar Mohamed Ali is 
an engineering student working as a civil employee in a military factory. He was arrested only because he was wit
h Sohaib. Their
Israa al-
  Taweel had ceased her former activism after becoming wheelchair-bound as a result of a gunshot wound, which she
 sustained during a protest in 2014. She appears to have been detained for a total of over six months simply beca
use she was in the
of Sohaib Saad, who was the principal target of the NSA. For part of this time, she was forcibly disappeared.
  Following her release in December 2015, Israa al-Taweel told Amnesty International that she had been taken to t
he Cairo headquarters of the NSA in Lazoughly Square, blindfolded and held incommunicado for 15 days. She was que
stioned about her
with the MB and the two friends detained with her. NSA officers told her that they would detain her parents and s
isters unless she gave them the information they required. She heard screams in another room at one point during 
her questioning,
her to believe

28 The Ministry of Interior, “The Ministry’s efforts to hunt down terrorist outposts [original in Arabic]”, 6 Nov
ember 2015, available at www.facebook.com/MoiEgy/photos/?tab=album&album_id=981095145267482 ; and The Ministry of
 Interior, “The
members of a terrorist cell of the Brotherhood terrorist organization that committed acts of sabotage in Alexandr
ia [original in Arabic]”, 7 November 2015, available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=57ozD0R6uZ4  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, 
DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      30 
Amnesty International

  her two friends were being tortured. Her NSA interrogators warned her that she would experience the same fate a
s her friends unless she co-operated.
  Israa al-Taweel was kept blindfolded throughout the 16 days that she spent detained by the NSA, except when sle
eping at night. She was then referred to the State Security Prosecutor’s office in Cairo, where she was questione
d for 18 hours,
without the
presence of her lawyer, and accused of “belonging to a banned
  group” and “broadcasting false news” (she had been carrying a camera when arrested). The prosecutor then author
ized her detention for 15 days, subsequently renewed, and she was moved to al-Qanater Women’s Prison in Cairo unt
il a judge ordered
release on medical grounds in December 2015, following many international expressions of concern about her case.
  Sohaib Saad and Omar Mohamed Ali, however, were charged with planning attacks against the military and leaking 
classified military information. In September 2015, they stood trial before a military court. They were convicted
 on 28 May 2016 and
sentenced to life imprisonment (25 years). They have submitted an appeal before the Supreme Military court and a 
date is to be set by the Court. For 16 days, after the NSA had detained the three friends, and held incommunicado
 – Israa al-Taweel
NSA offices in Cairo’s Lazoughly Square, and the others at the headquarters of Military Intelligence in Cairo – t
hey allege they were tortured.
  Israa al-Taweel’s family told Amnesty International that they made strenuous efforts to locate her during this 
time, inquiring at various police stations, courts and prisons. They filed a complaint about her disappearance wi
th the Public
Office, after which a group of around 25 armed security forces came to their house at 1:30am on 18 June 2015 and 
searched it without producing a search warrant, and took away their laptops. EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST
IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      31 Amnesty International


  “I do not speak to you as a police officer, but as a father, and I ask you to feel the pain of a mother who can
not find her child.”

  Mother of a “disappeared” child speaking to a police officer after he repeatedly denied that her son was in the
ir custody
Amnesty International has found that the treatment of children arrested by the NSA was similar to that of adults.
 Children have faced the same pattern of arbitrary arrests, detentions and enforced disappearances. They were hel
d for periods
between seven and 50 days without being allowed to contact their families or access to their lawyers. While in in
communicado detention, they were tortured to obtain “confessions” or statements incriminating others. The authori
ties also repeatedly
that they were in their custody when their families inquired about them and sent telegrams to the Ministry of Int
erior, Ministry of Justice and the Public Prosecution.

ned Mazen Mohamed Abdallah, a 14-year-old school student, after raiding his family home in the Nasr City district
 of Cairo in the
hours of 30 September 2015, and subjected him to enforced disappearance and torture in detention (see below).

  Mazen Abdallah’s mother, told Amnesty International that she was awoken at around 3:00am by violent banging on 
the door of the family’s apartment. When she opened the door she found herself confronted by about 30 heavily arm
ed security forces,
with their faces concealed, carrying automatic weapons. They demanded to know whether her son, Mazen, was in the 
apartment. NSA officers in plain clothes accompanying the armed men said they wished to ask Mazen two questions a
nd then leave, so
mother took them to the room where the boy was sleeping. The NSA officers woke him, searched his and another room
, and took his mobile phone. They did not produce a search warrant or other official EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO N
TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      32 Amnesty Internat

  documentation. They named several people and asked Mazen if he knew them. Mazen said he did not, but then the s
ecurity forces found some references to protests in messages on his phone sent by his friends, whereupon they tol
d his mother they
take Mazen to a police station to question him further but would then return him to his home after couple of hour
s. The mother told Amnesty International: “I
  tried to ask where they will be taking him but they refused to disclose any information. Then, they blindfolded
 my 14-year-old child and handcuffed him from behind as they do with criminals, and took him downstairs… I did no
t know whether this
reality or I was dreaming”. The NSA officers then took the boy away in a white micro-bus accompanied by two polic
e pick-up trucks.
  The security officers took Mazen to the First Nasr City Police Station in Cairo but concealed this from his fam
ily. When they looked for him at the police station in the days following his arrest, the authorities at the poli
ce station said he
there and that they could provide no information about him. So, the family inquired at other police stations, als
o without obtaining any information as to Mazen’s whereabouts or how he was being treated. They also sought infor
mation about their
disappeared son directly from the Ministry of Interior; officials there also denied that the Ministry was holding
 the boy. The family also sent postal telegrams to the Public Prosecution office on 30 September and 4 October. I
t was not until 8
more than a week after Mazen’s disappearance, when his family learnt of his whereabouts – through a chance encoun
ter with a lawyer who reported having seen him in custody at the office of the State Security Prosecutor in new C
airo’s Fifth
and were able to gain access to him.
  Mazen told his family that he had been held at the First Nasr City Police Station for the first seven days,
  then moved on 7 October to the Second Nasr City Police Station, without any contact with a lawyer or his family
,29 and that interrogators at both police stations had subjected him to rape and other forms of torture (see belo
w). When presenting
to the State Security Prosecutor on 8 October 2015 (in contravention of Egypt’s Child Law,30 according to which h
e should have been referred to the Child Prosecution), the official NSA report on his case gave his arrest date a
s the previous day,
  apparently to make it appear that the NSA had complied with Article 54 of Egypt’s Constitution, and had brought
 Mazen Abdallah to a prosecutor within 24 hours of his arrest.31 The NSA documentation made no reference to his p
rior seven days of
detention during which, Mazen alleges, NSA officials held him in isolation and subjected him to torture and other
 ill-treatment. According to Mazen, he told the prosecutor – before whom he appeared on 8 October without the pre
sence of a lawyer –
that he
had been detained for over a week and tortured and threatened that his parents would be arrested if he did not co
nfess. The prosecutor, however, failed to investigate the allegations of torture, enforced disappearance and the 
falsification of
  In December 2015, the Ministry of Interior used its Facebook page to respond to an Amnesty International’s stat
ement about Mazen Abdallah’s case which had received wide international attention asserting: “Mazen was arrested 
on 7 October based
arrest warrant issued by a prosecutor and he is charged in relation to violent acts, including attacking national
 institutions and burning police vehicles. He was sent to the prosecutor the next day who questioned him and orde
red his detention
days.32 He

29 Article 125 of Law No. 12 of 1996 Promulgating The Child Law (the Child Law, as amended) states: “The child ha
s the right to legal assistance; he shall be represented in criminal and misdemeanor cases where the penalty is t
o place him in
by a
lawyer to defend him in both the investigation and trial phases. If no lawyer has been selected by the child, the
 Public Prosecution or the Court shall appoint one, in accordance with the rules and regulation of the Criminal P
rocedure Code.” The
law is
available at www.africanchildforum.org/clr/Legislation%20Per%20Country/Egypt/egypt_children_2008_en.pdf 30 Articl
e 122 of the Child Law states: “The Child Court shall exclusively deal with issues concerning the child when accu
sed of a crime or in
of his delinquency. The Court shall also be entitled to pass judgments regarding criminal cases set forth in Arti
cles 113 to 116 and in Article 119 of this Law. As an exception to the provision of the previous paragraph, the C
riminal Court or the
Supreme State Security Court, according to each case, shall have jurisdiction over criminal cases where the accus
ed – at the time of committing the crime – is a child above fifteen (15) years of age while the accomplice is not
 a child and the
necessitated bringing the criminal action against the accomplice jointly with the child. In this case, the Court 
– prior to passing its judgment – shall examine the circumstances of the child from all aspects and may seek the 
assistance of
if it
so wishes.”
31 Article 54 of the Constitution.  32 Case No. 699 of 2015, State Security. EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST
’  DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      
33 Amnesty

  was referred to the Forensic Authority on 12 October 2015 who confirmed that Mazen never faced torture
  in custody.”33
  The prosecutor charged Mazen Abdallah with inciting and participating in illegal protests and he remained in de
tention for four months under successive renewals of his pre-trial detention by the State Security Prosecutor, in
 violation of
Law that prohibits pre-trial detention of children under 15 years.34 Following international protests and public 
pressure about his continued detention, the prosecutor ordered his release on 31 January 2016 while still charged
. As of 1 July 2016,
case had still to be referred to a court. Prior to his release and although he is a child, Mazen Abdallah spent t
he first 10 weeks of his detention confined in an overcrowded cell containing adult prisoners at First and Second
 Nasr City Police
in contravention of Article 112 of Egypt’s Child Law;35 he was moved to Giza Child Centre only on 13 December 201
5, following Amnesty International’s statement about his case, by which time he had contracted a skin ailment app
arently because of
hygiene conditions at First Nasr City Police Station.


                                       Aser Mohamed, 14-year-old student. “We searched in Cairo’s Bulaq al-Dakrou
r, Omraneya, Talbeya, Haram and Giza Police Stations; they all denied that Aser was in their custody”, Aser’s fam
ily told Amnesty
International. When Aser Mohamed appeared before the Public Prosecution Office, a senior state security prosecuto
r told him: “It seems that you want to go back to the electric shocks again”, indicating he knew Aser Mohamed had
 been tortured in
detention to obtain “confessions”.
                                       © Private, used with permission.

  A mixed force of armed police and NSA officers in plain clothes detained Aser Mohamed, in an early morning raid
 on his home in the 6th October district of Cairo on 12 January 2016. The officers, who failed to produce an arre
st or search
they intended to take Aser away for questioning only briefly, although they refused to say where, and would retur
n him after two hours or so. But they did not return

33 Response of Ministry of Interior on their Facebook page to Amnesty International Press Release, 16 December 20
15, available at m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=998277660215897&substory_index=0&id=181662475210757&__mref=m
essage_bubble  34
119 of the Child Law Article states: “A child who has not reached fifteen (15) years of age shall not be placed i
n temporary custody. The Public Prosecution may place him in one of the observation centers, for a period not exc
eeding one (1) week,
shall make him available upon each request if the circumstances of the case necessitate keeping him in custody. H
owever, the period for keeping the child in custody shall not exceed one (1) week unless the Court decides to ext
end the period
according to
the regulations for temporary custody as stipulated in the Criminal Procedure Code [CCP]. As an alternative to th
e procedure of the previous paragraph, an order may be issued to deliver the child to one of his parents, or to h
is guardian, and
available upon each request. Any person violating this duty shall be penalized with a fine not exceeding one hund
red (100) Egyptian pounds”. 35 Article 112 of the Child Law Article states: “Children may not be detained, placed
 in custody, or
with adults in one place . In detention, it should be observed that children are to be classified according to th
eir age, sex, and nature of their crime”.

                                    34 Amnesty International

  him, and for the next 34 days his family did not know where he was, they had no contact with or news about him.

  Aser’s family made frantic efforts to locate him: “We searched in Cairo’s Bulaq al-Dakrour, Omraneya, Talbeya, 
Haram and Giza Police Stations; they all denied that Aser was in their custody”, Aser’s family, told Amnesty Inte
rnational. The
reported and sent postal telegrams to the Public Prosecutor, Ministry of Interior and Attorney General, all witho
ut obtaining any information or getting any response. They heard nothing until 15 February, when Aser Mohamed was
 able to telephone
them as
he was being transferred to the Giza Central Security Forces (CSF) camp located 10.5km north of Cairo on the Cair
  Alexandria highway. In the call, Aser told his family that he had already been taken before and questioned by t
he State Security Prosecutor in contravention of Egyptian laws as he should have been referred to Child Prosecuti
on. Once they knew
whereabouts, Aser Mohamed’s parents went to the CSF camp to try and see him and find out if he was in good health
 and how he had been treated, but the authorities at the camp denied them access to Aser and said that they could
 only visit after he
been there for nine days. When they did get to see him, Aser told his parents that he had throughout his enforced
 disappearance been held at the NSA offices in the 6th October district of Cairo alongside adults, and that NSA o
fficers had tortured
during the first three days of his detention to force him to “confess” to participating in an apparent attack on 
7 January 2016 on the Three Pyramids hotel in Giza, Cairo, and to implicate others in committing crimes.
  The official investigation report submitted by the NSA to the State Security Prosecutor on 15 February
  2016, when Aser Mohamed appeared before the prosecutor, falsely suggests that the boy was arrested only earlier
 that day, giving 15 February as his arrest date. The report makes no reference to his previous 34 days of incomm
unicado detention.
Mohamed was charged with belonging to the banned MB and participating in the 7 January hotel attack. When he deni
ed the charges, he alleges that the prosecutor responded: “It seems that you want to go back to the electric shoc
ks again”,
he knew Aser Mohamed had been subjected to electric-shocks torture in detention by the NSA. The torture allegatio
ns were confirmed by Aser who told the prosecutor about his torture. However, the prosecutor took no action to in
vestigate or hold
responsible for torture to account. The prosecutor formally charged Aser Mohamed and authorized his further deten
tion under a renewable 15 day detention order. The Public Prosecution referred the case of Aser Mohamed to the Ca
iro Criminal Court
(terrorism circuit) in April
  2016 and he is due to stand trial on 12 July 2016 on charges that could lead to his imprisonment for 15 years.3
6 As of 1 July 2016, Aser Mohamed was still held at the CSF camp near Cairo/Alexandria highway along with adults.

36 Article 111 of the Child Law states: “No accused person shall be sentenced to death, life imprisonment, or for
ced labor if, at the time of committing the crime, he did not reach the age of eighteen (18) years. Without preju
dice to the
Article 17 of the Penal Code, if the child who has reached the age of fifteen (15) years commits a crime punishab
le by a death sentence, or life imprisonment, or forced labor, he shall be sentenced to imprisonment”. EGYPT: ‘OF
 DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      35
 Amnesty International


                                            Omar Ayman Mohamed Mahmoud, 17-
                                       year-old student. “We were suffering because we did not know where our son
 was held”, Omar’s mother said. “Lawyers and other people told us that probably he is held in the headquarters of
 the NSA [in Cairo]
and we
should not ask about him there as it will be risky for us.”

                                       The family heard informally from a released detainee that he had seen Omar
 Mahmoud inside the NSA building in Lazoughly Square, Cairo.
                                       © Private, used with permission. The mother of Omar Ayman Mohamed Mahmoud,
 a student aged 17, told Amnesty International that a group of around 15 armed security officials in plain clothe
s forced their way
into the
family home at 1:30am on 2 August 2015 and detained her son.
  The men woke her son and searched the home, apparently for weapons although they found none, and seized and rem
oved the family’s computer and Omar’s phone and that of his sister. They also took Omar, who had been ill and at 
home for the
days, saying they would take him to Dar al-Salam Police Station in Cairo. They did not produce an arrest or searc
h warrant. Omar’s father tried to accompany his son, but the security officials pushed him back and told him not 
to follow.
  That evening, Omar’s father went to Dar al-Salam Police Station but the police denied that Omar was held there.
 He returned to the same police station the next day, however, and was allowed informally by some police guarding
 detainees to see,
speak, to Omar although the police maintained the official line that Omar was not held there. On 4 August, Omar’s
 father again went to the police station to ask after his son. This time, the police checked his ID, again denied
 that they were
Omar and sent Omar’s father away threatening to arrest him if he returned.
  Omar’s mother told Amnesty International that the family was unable to obtain confirmation of Omar’s detention 
or any information from the authorities until 15 September, more than six weeks (44 days) after he was taken from
 his home, although
had sent urgent inquiries and postal telegrams to the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Justice and the Publi
c Prosecutor who provided no information about Omar’s place of detention. “We were suffering because we did not k
now where our son
held”, Omar’s mother said. “Lawyers and other people told us that probably he is held in the headquarters of the 
NSA [in Cairo] and we should not ask about him there as it will be risky for us.” The family heard informally fro
m a released
he had seen Omar Mahmoud inside the NSA building in Lazoughly Square, Cairo.
  When Omar Mahmoud appeared before the Zenhom (South Cairo) Prosecutor on 15 September 2015, the official NSA in
vestigation report that accused him of belonging to the banned MB group, engaging in unauthorized protests and at
tacking the security
gave his date of arrest as 14 September; the report made no reference to his more than six weeks of detention and
 enforced disappearance by the NSA. The prosecutor questioned him without the presence of his lawyer, and authori
zed his continued
                             36 Amnesty International

  detention under a renewable 15-45 days order although, according to Omar’s father, the prosecutor acknowledged 
that there was a lack of evidence against Omar. It appears that Omar Mahmoud was detained simply because the NSA 
found his name or
photograph on one of his friends’ mobile phone. He is jointly accused with more than two dozen others, most of th
em children.  When he turned 18, he was transferred to Tora Istiqbal Prison in Cairo. Official documents continue
  give his arrest date as 14 September 2015, not 2 August 2015. His lawyer raised this with the prosecutor during
 one of the hearings to consider the renewal of Omar Mahmoud’s 15 day detention order but the prosecutor reported
ly failed to
the “missing” six weeks of detention or Omar Mahmoud’s allegations of torture.
  On 11 May 2016, the prosecutor finally ordered the release of Omar Mohamed Ayman and he was sent to Basateen Po
lice Station to be released from there. However, he was released only on 1 June, almost 20 days after the prosecu
tor ordered his
release. As
of 1 July 2016, Omar was still awaiting trial and if convicted he could face up to 15 years of imprisonment.

6.1 CHILDREN SUBJECTED TO ENFORCED DISAPPEARANCE FOR A SECOND TIME Some children were subjected to enforced disap
pearance for a second time by NSA officers after Public Prosecutors had ordered their release. In such cases, aft
er being forcibly
disappeared again, they reappeared only when they were brought before prosecutors to face questioning and charges
 in relation to new alleged offences. As the wording of prosecutors’ release orders is qualified in all cases, pr
oviding that
should be released “unless they are wanted for questioning in relation to other offences,” NSA
officers are able to re-arrest released detainees and subject them to renewed enforced disappearance, interrogati
on and torture to force “confessions” that provide a basis for new charges when they are again brought before the
 Public Prosecution.
practices completely subvert the protection of the law. And it is particularly deplorable that they are being use
d against children.

men in plain clothes believed to be NSA officers, detained Ebada Ahmed Gomaa, 15, and others as they played socce
r at a playground
their homes in the Nasr City district of Cairo. This occurred after the security forces detained another youth, A
nas Mounir, and examined his mobile phone to identify those with whom he had been in contact. They then took Anas
 Mounir to the
to identify Ebada Gomaa and a few others who they then detained. The NSA officers took Ebada Gomaa away in a whit
e micro-bus, witnesses told his family. According to Ammar, Ebada Gomaa’s older brother, the officers took him to
 the empty flat in
his family previously lived, broke down the door and searched the flat without finding anything incriminating, an
d forced him under torture to “confess” on videotape that he had manufactured weapons and was using the flat to s
tore them. The
then took Ebada Gomaa to First Nasr City Police Station and prevented him from calling his family or lawyer.
  When he did not return home and his family learnt from his friends that armed men had taken him away, Ebada Gom
aa’s family urgently sought to locate him and find out why and where he was being detained. They visited the Firs
t and Second Nasr
Police Stations but the police denied holding him. However, one of the youths taken at the same time as Ebada but
 held only briefly told the family that he had seen EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TORTUR
COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      37 Amnesty International

  Ebada in First Nasr City Police Station and heard him screaming and denying that he knew the people with whom i
nterrogators were seeking to link him. The family then sent urgent inquiries and telegrams to the Ministry of Int
erior and Public
Prosecutor, but did not receive any response.
  On 19 July 2015, two days after he was detained, Egyptian news media reported his arrest and said the authoriti
es accused him of being an expert in manufacturing firearms; some reports were accompanied by photographs showing
 Ebada Gomaa
behind a table covered in firearms that the authorities said he had manufactured.37
  Despite the publicity, the authorities did not permit Ebada Gomaa to contact his family until the next day, whe
n he was taken before the 7th Settlement Public Prosecutor in Nasr City who formally charged Ebada Gomaa with bel
onging to the banned
MB and
illegally manufacturing and storing weapons.38 Ebada Gomaa denied all of the charges but the prosecutor authorize
d his detention for renewable periods of 15 days until 20 September 2015, when the prosecutor ordered his release
 on payment of bail
15,000 EGP (USD1,688). Ebada Gomaa’s family paid his bail the next day but when they went to pick him up at First
 Nasr City Police Station they were told that he was no longer there.
  For almost eight weeks, until 10 November 2015, Ebada Gomaa was subjected to enforced disappearance. The author
ities neither acknowledged his detention nor revealed any information about him, while holding him incommunicado 
and denying him
legal counsel. His family reported his disappearance and sent telegrams to the Ministry of Interior and the Publi
c Prosecutor, but they did not open any investigations. Subsequently, Ebada Gomaa’s family received information f
rom a released
that the NSA was holding Ebada Gomaa at its Cairo headquarters in Lazoughly Square in downtown which is located i
nside the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior.
  Ebada Gomaa’s enforced disappearance ended on 10 November 2015, when he was taken before the State Security Pro
secutor for questioning in connection with a new case involving further alleged offences.39 His lawyer was permit
ted to attend his
questioning by the State Security Prosecutor, after which Ebada Gomaa was detained at First Nasr City Police Stat
ion along with adults until 18 December 2015 and was then released. His family reported that he told them he “did
 not see the sun for
days” during his incommunicado detention at the headquarters of the NSA.
  As of 1 June 2016, Ebada Gomaa remained at liberty awaiting trial in two separate cases on charges that include
d belonging to the banned MB, manufacturing weapons, inciting violence against the government institutions, and p
articipating in
protests, if tried and convicted he could face up to 15 years imprisonment. The Egyptian authorities have failed 
to conduct an independent investigation into his allegations of enforced disappearance in breach of their obligat
ions under
law and Egyptian laws. He was also held in detention all the time alongside adults in contravention of Egyptian l

37 Al-Youm al-Sabe’, “The arrest of a student majoring in the manufacturing of arms [original in Arabic]”, 19 Jul
y 2015, available at http://bit.ly/29b9FT5 38 Case No. 31807 of 2015, Nasr City. 39 Case No. 699 of 2015, Nasr Ci
ty. EGYPT:
            38 Amnesty International

 a 17-year-old. “I do not speak to you as a police officer, but as a father, and I ask you to feel the pain of a 
mother who cannot

                                       Mother of Abd el-Rahman Osama speaking to a police officer after he repeat
edly denied that her son was in their custody.
                                       © Private, used with permission.

  Security forces detained Abd el-Rahman Osama, aged 17, from his home in Cairo at round 6:00am on 11 July 2015, 
his mother, told Amnesty International. They appeared to be looking for Abd el-Rahman because they were already h
olding his older
Mohamed Osama, detained since beginning of 2015.
  Five men in plain clothes who were believed to be agents from the NSA and several others in uniform, whose face
s were concealed and who were armed with automatic weapons, came to the family’s house.
  They did not produce a judicial warrant of any kind but when challenged by Abd el-Rahman’s mother, they told he
r they suspected Abd el-Rahman of making and possessing weapons at his home. “I told the security forces to searc
h our home and if
found anything they can arrest Abd el-Rahman”, the mother said. Although no weapons were found at the house, the 
security officers took Abd el-Rahman away after seizing his mobile phone and some study books, telling his mother
 that they were
to the Dar al-Salam Police Station in Cairo.
  Abd el-Rahman’s mother told Amnesty International:

  “I wanted to go immediately to the police station but my neighbours calmed me down and said to give it two hour
s because the security forces were conducting an arrest campaign in the neighbourhood... I waited for a couple of
 hours then went to
the Dar
al-Salam Police Station. The authorities denied that he was in their custody and told me to ask in the Lazougly N
SA office. I then saw one of the police officers who arrested Abd el-Rahman and tried to enter the police station
 but the guards
me from doing so. I then found another police officer and he told me informally that Abd el-Rahman was in their c
ustody. I stayed outside the police station until 17:00, for almost eight hours.”

  His mother then obtained the assistance of a lawyer who went with her to the police station but they were told 
that Abd el-Rahman was being held under NSA authority and no one should “see him or ask about him.”

  On 14 July, after paying bribes to low-ranking police officers, Abd el-Rahman’s mother learnt that he was about
 to be taken for questioning by the Maadi Prosecutor, so arranged for his lawyer to attend the hearing. At the he
aring, Abd el-Rahman
the prosecutor that he believed he had been detained because his brother was already in custody and denied the NS
A allegations that he had been involved in making and storing firearms. He said he had been forced to “confess” t
o these and other
  three days of torture (see below) but the prosecutor failed to note his allegations or order an investigation E
       39 Amnesty International

  or refer him to a forensic authority. Initially, the prosecutor ordered Abd el-Rahman Osama’s detention for fou
r days but subsequently authorized his continuing detention under three successive 15 day orders, during which Ab
d el-Rahman Osama
at Dar al-Salam Police Station. His mother was able to visit him there every day until officials of the Public Pr
osecutor’s Office told her that they had ordered his release pending trial. However, when she went to the police 
station to pick him
up, the
police said they were no longer holding Abd el-Rahman and threatened her before eventually a senior officer told 
her that Abd el-Rahman had been released and if she wished to find him she should “rent a car with a mic and driv
e around and chant
where is
my child”, or “look for him with your relatives or maybe look in protests”. The senior officer then threatened he
r and warned her that if she or anyone else asked about Abd el-
  Rahman again they would be arrested.
  Abd el-Rahman had not been released. While being escorted from the police station, his mother was told “informa
lly” by another police officer that although the prosecutor ordered that he be freed, “the National Security Agen
cy did not approve

  Abd el-Rahman’s mother said: “I was scared. Why are they hiding my child? I thought, they will kill him.” Altho
ugh the police continued to deny holding Abd el-Rahman, he was able to telephone his mother several days later. H
e said he was held
hallway, not a cell, at Dar al-Salam Police Station together with around 15 children who had been moved there fro
m Basateen Police Station after a prosecutor also authorized their release. However, the National Security Agency
 refused to release
and transferred them to Dar al-Salam Police Station under conditions of enforced disappearance, according to the 
mother. The police did not allow her to see Abd el-Rahman during the month he remained at Dar Al Salam, denying t
hat he was there.
an emotional appeal to the officer in command, telling him: “I do not speak to you as a police officer, but as a 
father, and I ask you to feel the pain of a mother who cannot find her child.” She learned that Abd el-Rahman had
 been moved to
Police Station. She was able to visit him there. He told her that although the original case against him had been
 dropped, the NSA had prevented his release in order to investigate other allegations and had now charged him and
 others with
offences in a new case (the “Maadi cells” case).40

  On 11 May, however, the prosecutor ordered the release of Abd el-Rahman Osama and sent him to Basateen Police S
tation to be released from there. The police only released Abd el-Rahman Osama on 1 June, more than 20 days after
 the prosecutor’s
  As of 1 July 2016, Abd el-Rahman Osama remained charged and awaiting trial on charges that included belonging t
o the banned MB and participating in unauthorized protests as well as possessing weapons. If convicted, he could 
face up to 15 years
  The Egyptian authorities have taken no steps to investigate his enforced disappearance and allegations of tortu
re and other ill-treatment.

AME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      40 Amnesty International


  “Do you think that you have a price? We can kill you and put you in a blanket and throw you in any trash bin an
d no one will ask about you.”

  An NSA officer to a detainee he was interrogating.

In almost all of the cases documented by Amnesty International, detainees allege that during their enforced disap
pearance NSA officers tortured and otherwise ill-treated them in order to obtain “confessions”41 that could be us
ed at trial to
or others, including friends and relatives who oppose or protest against the government.  The NSA’s own actions –
 notably, their falsification of detainees’ arrest dates in official documents, apparently to conceal the unlawfu
lness of their
the duration of their detention as an enforced disappearance victim liable to torture – lend obvious credence to 
these allegations. Likewise, the authorities’ refusal to allow lawyers access to forensic medical examinations of
 detainees in the
cases when these are ordered by prosecutors, suggests that the authorities wish to withhold possible evidence of 
torture or other ill-treatment. In some cases, the NSA has filmed detainees “confessing” to serious crimes or pho
tographed them next
piles of guns, grenades and Molotov cocktails, which they are alleged to have possessed. Some of these
images have then been posted on the Ministry of Interior’s Facebook and YouTube pages or published in the local m
edia as evidence that supporters of the MB and former President Morsi are engaged in “terrorism” and that the aut
horities are
successful in
combatting them.42 Such “confessions” and images, which detainees allege were made under duress, raise serious du
e process concerns when they are published in
advance of detainees’ trials.

41 The fabricated offences include, for example, “belonging to the banned MB”, “protesting without authorization”
, “inciting protests” and “attacking security forces, their institutions and check-points”.  42 El-Watan, “Milita
ry Spokesman
video about the arrest of one of the most dangerous terrorist cells that threatens national security [original in
 Arabic]”, 11 July 2015: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj7PlhC7s7o . See also Al-Youm al-Saba’, “The arrest of a studen
majoring in the manufacturing of arms”.

                                    41 Amnesty International

7.1 METHODS OF TORTURE The most common methods of torture used by the NSA, according to former detainees, their f
amilies and lawyers, are beating; prolonged suspension by the limbs from a ceiling or door while handcuffed and b
lindfolded; and the
application of electric shocks, mostly using electro-shock weapons, to the genitals and
other sensitive areas of the body and face. Some detainees allege that they were subjected to the “grill”, a meth
od in which the victim is rotated over a rod inserted between his tied hands and legs and balanced
between two chairs. Some detainees say that while detained in NSA premises, they were handcuffed to another detai
nee and on the other side, to a high wall to prevent them from sleeping, damaging their wrists, arms and shoulder
s.43  Former
they were tortured while being interrogated, usually in their first two weeks of
incommunicado detention, in sessions that lasted for up to six or seven hours. After their interrogation, detaine
es continued to be detained incommunicado until any visible signs of torture had faded but faced a threat of furt
her torture or the
of family members if they sought to retract their “confessions” when questioned by a Public Prosecutor. Consequen
tly, some detainees say, they felt obliged to repeat their “confessions” to the prosecutor.
Detainees told Amnesty International they were handcuffed and blindfolded throughout their incommunicado detentio
n, and beaten or suspended by their arms or legs if they tried to remove these restraints or were caught speaking
 to other detainees.
The following case examples, all from 2015 and 2016, reflect a much broader number of allegations that Amnesty In
ternational continues to receive from victims of enforced disappearance, including children, who are often confin
ed in the same
facilities as adults.
Some detainees say that when they were eventually taken before prosecutors for questioning they told them that th
ey had been in detention since before the arrest dates cited by the NSA and tortured to force a
“confession” but that the prosecutors failed to investigate – for example, by sending them for independent medica
l examination or noting the torture allegation. When, at a later stage and in rare cases, detainees were referred
 by the Public
to independent medical examination, their lawyers were not permitted to see the resulting reports. In this regard
, the prosecutors involved in these cases appear to have failed to carry out their statutory duties under Egyptia
n law to protect all
persons against arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and other ill-treatment, and to investigate alleged abuse
s by police and other public officials, including NSA officers.  Nour Khalil (see above) said that he had been in
terrogated over four
during his enforced disappearance in May 2015 by security officials who threatened him with torture, killing and 
criminal prosecution on
fabricated charges. He said:
“I was questioned twice a day and asked the same questions. I was threatened with sexual assault and that I would
 be killed. The officers threatened me with electric shocks and they used electric Tasers close to my ears to thr
eaten me during the
questioning. I was also threatened with fabricated charges that would result in sentencing me to life imprisonmen

When he went on hunger strike to protest against his detention and ill-treatment, he was assaulted by three offic
ers wielding batons who entered his cell: “They started to beat me on my arms and shoulders, and so I said that I
 will eat. They
saying that they don’t care about my life and they only care about the information I have and when they get the i
nformation, they can end my life.”

43 In February 2011, protesters entered the premises of the SSI in Cairo and some activists photographed or filme
d what they saw there, including equipment they said state security forces used to suspend detainees. See, for ex
F COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      42 Amnesty International

Islam Khalil (see above) told Amnesty international that during his 122 days of enforced disappearance in 2015, h
e was blindfolded and handcuffed all the time and subjected to beatings, electric-shock torture on his genitals, 
and suspended naked
wrists and ankles for hours by NSA interrogators in Tanta: “The security agents took me… to an interrogation room
 while I was still handcuffed and blindfolded. An
officer asked me why I was arrested and I responded by saying that I didn’t know why. I had not even completed th
e sentence when I was beaten with batons on my back many times while the officer was telling me that I knew exact
ly why I was here
I had done. The beatings with batons and hands continued and the officer would say, ‘you still don’t want to spea
k?’ From time to time he would go silent, the beatings would stop and again the officer would ask me: ‘You don’t 
want to speak? Well,
beat you until you are not able to spell a word.’

“The beatings continued, by hands on my face and with the batons on my body, and they beat me with a wire on my h
ead. The officer questioning me was not the same as the one beating me. The beatings continued until the night, s
topping for few
minutes and
then they would continue again. Then, I was taken back to my cell. My mouth and nose were bleeding, so I removed 
the blindfold and wiped the blood using my T-shirt”.

Over the following days, Islam Khalil says he was mostly kept blindfolded, repeatedly beaten, denied access to to
ilet facilities and deprived of sleep to the extent that he lost track of time and began to hallucinate. One morn
ing he thought he
to be released when officers took him from his cell but, instead, officers handcuffed him, struck him on his legs
 causing him to fall and secured his arms and hands to an iron rod which they hoisted to the celling so that he w
as hanging upside
his head to the floor. “I felt my head was going to explode and started to feel like I was suffocating.” He calle
d out: “Why are you doing this to me?” One of the officers said: ”Rescue yourself and say what you know. No one w
ill rescue you.”
Khalil said he knew nothing, nor why he was detained to which one of his torturers replied: “When you know or whe
n you remember what you did, give us a shout. If you don’t remember, the basha [a senior NSA officer] will make y
ou confess to
He heard another officer say: “You should say your last prayers [Al Shehada].”
Islam Khalil passed out and was lying on his back on the floor when he regained consciousness. Water had been use
d to revive him. His interrogation and torture then resumed. One interrogator beat the soles of his feet and anot
her shocked him with
electro-shock weapon:
“There was a current that I felt across my body and I screamed. Then they put it in my side and I screamed again 
and then a third time and I screamed again. Then the officer told me: ‘You had better speak’.”

Their repeated questioning of his identity led Islam to believe that his interrogators had detained him because t
hey thought he was another man whom they sought, named Islam Gamal. He said an officer threatened: “Do you think 
that you have a
can kill you, put you in a blanket and throw you in any trash bin, and no one will ask about you.”

During a brief respite, a guard who gave Islam water told him that he should tell his interrogator everything, wa
rning: “Anyone who comes to the NSA eventually confesses to everything and that if I died here no one will ask ab
out me.” The
and torture then resumed. Islam was made to strip naked, he was handcuffed and his legs were secured, he was beat
en, forced onto his back and one interrogator stood on his chest and stomach and kicking him. He passed out and w
hen he regained
consciousness, found he had been returned to his detention cell.
After this ordeal at Tanta, Islam was moved to the NSA’s Cairo headquarters in Lazoughly on 9 July, which he desc
ribed as “the hell.” He was taken to a room on the third floor, handcuffed and wearing a blindfold that he was ab
le to move
sufficiently to
see that many other detainees were present, also blindfolded and handcuffed and bearing what Islam took to be mar
ks caused by torture. He spent over 60 days at the NSA headquarters and was interrogated twice. Officers subjecte
d him to electric
including on his lips, genitals and anus, using an electro-shock weapon. They asked him how he was trained to use
                     43 Amnesty International

make electric circuits for bombs, again referring to “Islam Gamal, known as Islam Abu Tereka.” Rather than face f
urther torture. “I told them to write whatever they want me to say and I will sign it”, Islam said.
Conditions for detainees within the NSA headquarters in Lazoughly were harsh. According to Islam, “The typical da
y in Lazoughly was as follows: blindfolded and handcuffed for the whole day and night. We were taken to the toile
t twice a day, in
morning and in the evening. Each detainee is allowed 60 seconds in the toilets. The soldier would count from one 
to 30 and I had to get done otherwise I would be beaten. One time, I was desperate to go to the toilet and I begg
ed them because I
bladder would explode but they
refused to allow me to go to the toilet… I used a bottle to urinate in… the security officers found out that I ur
inated in the bottle and the result was that I was suspended from my wrists on a door for two days.”

NSA officers woke detainees at night, forced them to stand and frequently beat them, particularly if they caught 
them speaking to other detainees or adjusting their blindfolds or handcuffs, and suspended them in stress positio
ns. Detainees who
were denied any medication and not transferred to see a doctor or to receive hospital treatment. When one detaine
e appeared to be dying, NSA officers asked another detainee, who was a doctor, to treat him while refusing to all
ow his transfer to
In another case, Abu Bakr Farag told Amnesty International that NSA officers tortured his father, Atef Mohamed Fa
rag, but not his brother, Yehia Farag, when they held the two of them in incommunicado detention for over 150 day
s at the Lazoughly
Cairo headquarters in 2015 and 2016. He said that Yehia Farag told him that the torture occurred during his fathe
r’s first four days in detention. He was stripped naked and given electric shocks on his body and genitals by NSA
 interrogators, who
him a series of photographs and demanded to know if he knew those pictured. They tortured him further when he den
ied any knowledge of them. According to Abu Bakr, his father also told him that his NSA interrogators threatened 
to kill his detained
Yehia, if he refused to “confess.” When he still refused to do so, they made his son Yehia listen to his father’s
 screams as he was tortured to pressure Yehia into providing any information on his father, just to stop the tort
ure of his father.
however, was not tortured. But he was kept blindfolded most of the time and said that if he tried to speak to oth
er detainees he would be beaten.
In a different case, when the family of Karim Abdel Moez were able to visit him after he was charged and moved to
 Tora Istiqbal Prison (see above), he told them that he was first held at Dar el-Salam Police Station for two day
s, then taken to the
headquarters in Lazoughly Square in Cairo and tortured. According to his friend Mohamed Magdy who visited him in 
prison, Karim told him that interrogators handcuffed and blindfolded him, beat him with batons and used electric 
shocks, with both
electro-shock weapons and wires, including to his genitals, to force him to “confess” that he had planned to join
 the armed group IS. In repeated interrogation sessions during his more than 100 days of incommunicado detention,
 interrogators also
him to implicate others. He and other detainees held there, were not allowed to speak to one another under threat
 of beatings by guards or suspension in stress positions.
SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND RAPE Amnesty International has documented repeated incidents of rape of men in custody by sec
urity forces under the rule of Hosni Mubarak and Abd el-Fattah al-Sisi, including cases where NSA officers used r
ape to extract
“confessions”. In 2014, Omar al-Showeikh44 and M.R.S45 were raped by NSA officers in the Second Nasr City Police 
Station – the same location where 14-year-old Mazen Mohamed Abdallah says he was raped (see below). Furthermore, 
in 2011, the
admitted that they conducted virginity tests on 17

44 Amnesty International, “Egypt”, Amnesty International report entry 2014/15: The state of the world’s human rig
hts (Index: POL 10/0001/2015), p. 139. 45 Amnesty International, “Egypt: Rampant torture, arbitrary arrests and d
etentions signal
catastrophic decline in human rights one year after ousting of Morsi”, 3 July 2014, available at www.amnesty.org/
en/latest/news/2014/07/egypt-anniversary-morsi-ousting/  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND T
COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      44 Amnesty International

women, one of them was Samira Ibrahim.46 In 2007, under the rule of Hosni Mubarak, Emad al-Kabir was raped with a
 wooden stick in Bulaq al-Dakrour Police Station.47 However, the case of 14-year-old student Mazen Mohamed Abdall
a is the first the
organization has documented in Egypt of the rape of a child, during NSA interrogation, to extract a “confession”.

The mother of Mazen Mohamed Abdallah (see above) told Amnesty International that her 14-year-old son told her tha
t NSA officers beat him, applied electric shocks to his genitals and repeatedly raped him with a wooden stick as 
they wanted him to
a false “confession”, which they had forced him to make before taking him for questioning before a State Security
 Prosecutor. Mazen told her that he had become “willing to confess to anything just to stop the torture” and so h
ad “confessed” to
membership of the banned MB; publicizing and participating in protests; and attacking the security forces; and to
 implicating others. NSA officers videotaped his “confession”.

Mazen Mohamed Abdallah’s mother said that her son was again tortured after the NSA moved him to the Second Nasr C
ity Police Station on 7 October 2015. NSA interrogators there repeatedly forced a stick into his anus, causing bl
eeding, applied
shocks to his genitals and other parts of his body, and threatened to arrest his parents if he retracted his “con
fession” when questioned by the prosecutor.
ears old boy (see above), was able to visit him for the first time since his arrest several weeks earlier, he tol
d them that he had
tortured over three days at the NSA’s offices in the 6th October district of Greater Cairo, his family told Amnes
ty International. NSA interrogators had shown him photographs of people. When he denied knowing them, the interro
gators tortured.
suspended him from a ceiling so that his whole weight rested on his arms and shoulders, and applied electric shoc
ks to his tongue, lips, ears, chest and arms. Aser suffered from displaced shoulders as a result
of suspension. He also showed his family marks on his arms that he said were caused by electric shocks, his famil
y said. Aser told his family that the torture ceased only when he agreed to say whatever the NSA asked him to “co
nfess”, after which
officers allowed him to be medically treated by another detainee, who was a doctor.
The mother of 17 year-old Omar Ayman Mohamed Mahmoud (see above), told Amnesty International that when she was al
lowed to see him for the first time, on 16 September 2015, more than six weeks after the NSA detained him, “his c
ondition was very
[he] looked sick. I was able to see him for only two minutes and I was not able to ask him about torture details.
 The skin under his eyes was black and he was very thin.”

Omar told his mother that he had been held at Dar al-Salam Police Station for three days then moved to the NSA he
adquarters in Lazoughly Square, Cairo, and detained incommunicado there for 44 days during which
NSA interrogators repeatedly beat and otherwise tortured him, including with electric shocks, when he denied know
ing people they asked about. He had been kept blindfolded and handcuffed and was not permitted to speak to other 
detainees. He told
mother that he still had pain in his arms and hands as a result of being suspended by his limbs by NSA interrogat

46 Amnesty International, “Egypt: A year after ‘virginity tests’, women victims of army violence still seek justi
ce”, 9 March 2012, available at www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2007/11/egypt-sweeping-measures-against-torture
Amnesty International, “Egypt: Sweeping measures against torture needed”, 5 November 2007, available at www.amnes

                                    45 Amnesty International

VIDEOTAPED AND PHOTOGRAPHED CONFESSIONS  Ebada Ahmed Gomaa’s (see above) family and lawyer gained access to him f
or the first time after he was taken from the street on 17 July, when he was taken before the Public Prosecutor i
n Nasr City on 20
Ebada, aged 15, had bruises and injuries to his head that he said were caused by torture – beatings and electric 
shocks – inflicted against him by NSA officers at First Nasr City Police Station, his family told Amnesty Interna
His family and lawyer saw him at the Prosecutor’s Office; he had bruises and other injuries on his body and head,
 and told them that NSA interrogators at First Nasr City Police Station had beaten him and applied electric shock
s to his genitals
parts of his body to force him to “confess” to serious offences. His family reported that he told them, after his
 release, that he “did not see the sun for 50 days,” during the period of his second enforced disappearance.
He said officers had twice photographed him with weapons, first at the former family home and later at the police
 station, and had taken him out in an NSA vehicle to point out the addresses of his mobile phone
contacts and people whom he had implicated in his forced “confession.” The photographs of Ebada were later publis
hed in the media, portraying him as a “terrorist” who manufactures weapons.48
Ebada Gomaa also told the prosecutor that he had been tortured in detention, but the prosecutor made no note of h
is visible injuries and did not order a medical examination by the forensic authorities.
The mother of 17-year-old Abd el-Rahman Osama told Amnesty International that when Abd el-Rahman was taken before
 the Maadi Public Prosecution Office on 14 July 2015 he told the prosecutor that he had been taken to the “fridge
,” a room on the
floor of Dar al-Salam Police Station, where interrogators applied electric shocks to his ears and body to make hi
m “confess” that his detained brother Mohamed had possessed weapons and used them against the security forces. Ab
d el-Rahman
the prosecutor that the pain from the electric shocks was so severe that he agreed “to say whatever they want” an
d was then filmed or photographed by NSA officers “confessing” that his brother belonged to the MB and had financ
ed protests and
weapons to be used in protests.

48 Al-Youm al-Sabe’, “The arrest of a student majoring in the manufacturing of arms [original in Arabic]”, 19 Jul
y 2015.

                                    46 Amnesty International


  “There is no enforced disappearance in Egypt, and the security forces operate within the legal framework”

  Magdy Abd el-Ghaffar, Egypt’s Minister of Interior
To date, Egypt’s Ministry of Interior has continued to deny the use of enforced disappearances and torture, despi
te the mounting evidence of such abuses and the NSA’s blatant falsification of detainee arrest dates. In March 20
16, Minister of
Magdy Abd el-Gaffar declared “there is no enforced disappearance in Egypt” and said no detainees were held incomm
unicado, beyond judicial oversight or in contravention of Egyptian law. Rather, he insisted, the Ministry of Inte
rior’s forces
within a framework established by Egyptian law and did not violate its provisions. He dismissed human rights grou
ps’ expressions of concern about the pattern of enforced disappearance as MB-inspired propaganda intended to obst
ruct his ministry’s
to combat MB “terrorism.”49 This followed his claim, which he made in a TV interview in January 2016, that those 
reported as disappeared would later be found having joined IS or armed groups in Sinai, or to have left their fam
ilies due to
other disputes, although he provided no evidence to support his assertion.50

49 Al-Shorouk, “Magdi Abd el-Ghaffar: There are no enforced disappearances in Egypt [original in Arabic]”, at 6 M
arch 2016, available at www.shorouknews.com/news/view.aspx?cdate=06032016&id=08b1106b-a225-4913-ae8a-975c5b4b5e7c
 ; and see also
interview with the Minister of Interior, available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAIrPKw4k8 (accessed 1 July 2016) 
50 Interview with Ministry of Interior, Magdy Abd el-Ghaffar, 24 January 2016, available at www.youtube.com/watch
                             47 Amnesty International


                                       Egypt's Interior Minister, General Magdi Abd el-
                                       Ghaffar, at a news conference in Cairo, Egypt, 6 March 2016.  Since the ap
pointment of Major General Magdy Abd el-Ghaffar in March 2015, Egypt has seen a rise in the pattern of enforced d
isappearances. He
served all his career with the former SSI and the current NSA after it was formed in 2011. Both agencies have a n
otorious reputation for torture and disappearances.  He has repeatedly denied that enforced disappearances are ta
king place in Egypt
that torture cases are only isolated cases and do not represent a wide pattern.  © REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

Contrary to the Interior Minister’s denials, the semi-official National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) reported 
in March 2016 that it had received and communicated 240 complaints to the Ministry from families of people who re
mained “absent”
security forces detained them between 1 January 2015 and 31 March 2016.51 In response, the Ministry of Interior c
onfirmed that a majority of the 240 “absent” individuals were or until recently had been in police custody.52
Egyptian human rights groups have also challenged the Interior Ministry’s denials with hundreds of documented cas
es of enforced disappearance. The al-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture said in January 2016 
that across Egypt,
700 people were tortured and 464 had disappeared since 2015. Another rights group campaign, the Freedom for the B
rave campaign said it documented 163 cases of enforced disappearance in April-May 2015. In August 2015, the Egypt
ian Commission for
and Freedoms (ECFR) launched a campaign called “Stop Enforced Disappearances”.

In virtually all cases documented by NGOs, those reported to be victims of enforced disappearance subsequently re
appeared in prisons awaiting trial on serious charges arising from their real or perceived opposition to the gove
rnment. The cases of
al-Taweel, Sohaib Saad, and Omar Mohamed Ali (see above) particularly illustrated this. Ministry of Interior offi
cials repeatedly denied their detention in media interviews during their 16 days of enforced disappearance53 befo
re they were found
custody in two Cairo prisons.
Egyptian NGOs that document enforced disappearances and torture do so at some risk. In the early hours of 25 Apri
l 2016, security forces detained Dr. Ahmed Abdallah, co-founder and head of the ECRF, at his home.

51 See NCHR, “Cases submitted by the National Council for Human Rights with the response of the Ministry of Inter
ior on cases”, 17 January 2016, available at www.nchregypt.org/media/ftp/Hasr123456.pdf  52 The table of cases in
 the NCHR’s
includes 240 names. The majority of them were either in the custody of the security forces or had been recently r
eleased, available at http://www.nchregypt.org/media/ftp/Hasr123456.pdf  53 Mada Masr, “Missing student allegedly
 seen at Qanater
17 June 2015, available at www.madamasr.com/news/missing-student-
NTER-TERORISM                                                      48 Amnesty International

They also detained Mina Thabet, an ECRF researcher, and charged both men apparently on trumped-up charges under t
he Counter-Terrorism Law. In February 2016, the government ordered the closure of the al-
Nadeem Center on the ground that it is not licensed to do human rights work and to report on cases of torture.

      Giulio Regeni An Italian doctoral student, disappeared on 25 January 2016. His body was found nine days lat
er in a ditch near
Cairo-Alexandria Highway. His body bore marks of torture and his mother told international media that she only re
cognized the tip of his nose and that the rest of his body was not her Giulio. © Private, used with permission.
   Given this background of official denial in the face of evidence of widespread abuse, the abduction, torture a
nd murder of Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni in early 2016 has raised suspicion that he may have been a vi
ctim of enforced
disappearance who died under torture while detained by Egyptian state agents. The Egyptian authorities deny this 
but their accounts of the circumstances of Giulio Regeni’s death have been met with wide scepticism, not least fr
om Giulio Regeni’s
and the Italian government. When he went missing on 25 January 2016, Giulio Regeni was engaged in research on tra
de unions in Egypt as part of his doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Nine day
s later, his
corpse was found in a ditch beside the main Cairo-Alexandria highway.54
   Initially, General Khaled Shalaby of the Ministry of Interior said that Giulio Regeni had died as the result o
f a car accident.55 Subsequently, photographic and autopsy evidence emerged indicating that he had been tortured 
repeatedly for
prior to his death.56 Then, media reports said to be based on leaked information from security officials claiming
 that Giulio Regeni had been taken into custody because he was “rude” to police officers who stopped and question
ed him, which the
of Interior denied.57
   The Egyptian authorities then announced that following investigations, police had raided a flat occupied by me
mbers of a gang that specialized in kidnapping and robbing foreigners and that they had found Giulio Regeni’s pas
sport and student ID
in the flat. The authorities said that all of the gang members
   had been shot dead by police.58 Media reports citing unofficial sources, including some reportedly within Egyp
t’s Intelligence community, however, said that police detained Giulio Regeni together with an unidentified Egypti
an man on 25 January
to Cairo’s Gamal Abd el-Nasser metro station and that

54 The New York Times, “An Italian’s brutal death in Egypt chills relations”, 4 February 2016, available at http:
//www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/world/middleeast/italian-student-egypt-torture.html  55 Al-Youm Al-Sabe’, “The disap
peared Italian died
car accident and his body will be transferred to the Italian embassy [original in Arabic]”, 4 February 2016, avai
lable at http://bit.ly/2996beW 56 The Independent, “Giulio Regeni: Egyptian police say Italian student found in r
oad-side ditch was
in car accident despite signs of torture”, 4 February 2016, available at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/
found-in-road-side-ditch-was-killed-in-car-a6854221.html  57 The New York Times, “Death of student, Giulio Regeni
, highlights perils for Egyptians, too”, 12 February 2016, available at
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/13/world/middleeast/giulio-regeni-egypt-killing.html 58 The Guardian, “Egyptian po
lice claim to shoot dead gang that killed Giulio Regini”, 25 March 2016, available at

                                    49 Amnesty International

   police took both men to Azbakiya Police Station in a white microbus.59 the government denies this and that any
 state agents were responsible for Giulio Regeni’s abduction and death.
   The abduction and killing of Giulio Regeni, and particularly the suspicion about State involvement, caused a s
erious diplomatic rift between Italy and Egypt, and led the European Parliament to adopt a strongly worded resolu
tion in March on his
and enforced disappearance in Egypt.60
   Amnesty International currently has insufficient information to be able to determine whether or not Giulio Reg
eni’s abduction and killing resulted from the actions of Egyptian state agents, persons opposed to the Egyptian g
overnment, members
criminal gang or others. However, the circumstances in which Giulio Regeni went missing and the apparent similari
ty between the injuries evident on his body and those that result from the methods of torture that Egyptian secur
ity forces use when
interrogating suspects points to possible state culpability in his case. The Egyptian authorities’ apparent reluc
tance to conduct a thorough independent investigation into the abduction and killing of Giulio Regeni continues t
o fuel this
Following international expressions of concern following the student’s death, the Egyptian authorities announced 
that they had opened an investigation. However, the investigations were headed by a police officer who was convic
ted in 2003 of
torturing a
man to death,61 and who has been accused of torturing activists, fabricating charges against them and killing pro
testers during the January uprising. The Egyptian authorities’ failure to acknowledge the enforced disappearance 
of hundreds of
citizens, to conduct independent investigations into allegations of torture of detainees in the custody of the NS
A and police, and to hold those responsible for torture of detainees criminally liable, also puts in question the
 government’s bona
and its commitment to establishing beyond reasonable doubt who was responsible for the abduction, torture and kil
ling of Giulio Regeni.

59 Reuters, “Exclusive: Egyptian police detained Italian student before his murder, Reuters”, 21 April 2016, avai
lable at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-regeni-exclusive-idUSKCN0XI1YU 60 The resolution, which was adop
ted by a large
majority of
members of the European Parliament, but which has no binding effect, called for a full investigation into Giulio 
Regeni’s abduction and killing, condemned the human rights record of President al-Sisi’s government and called fo
r EU states to cease
security co-operation with Egypt. It also criticized three EU member states – France, Germany and the UK – for ag
reeing to arms transfers to Egypt. See European Parliament, European Parliament resolution of 10 March 2016 on Eg
ypt, notably the
Giulio Regeni (2016/2608(RSP)), 10 March 2016, available at www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&refere
TA-2016-0084&language=EN&ring=B8-2016-0338  61 AP, “Egypt investigator in Italy death convicted of past torture”,
 15 February 2016, available at https://uk.news.yahoo.com/egypt-says-
italian-student-not-arrested-death-095735636.html   EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TORTUR
ED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      50 Amnesty International


  “It seems that you want to go back to the
  electric shocks again.”

  A senior State Security Prosecutor speaking to 14-year-old student Aser Mohamed after he retracted his “confess

9.1 THE PUBLIC PROSECUTION Egypt’s Constitution and CCP establish the Public Prosecution as an independent judici
al body under the administration of the Ministry of Justice62 with sole authority to prosecute cases and bring cr
iminal actions
Egypt’s criminal courts.63 The Public Prosecution is empowered to file a criminal action even if a plaintiff with
draws his civil complaint for compensation.64 The Public Prosecutor, who heads the Public Prosecution, is selecte
d by the Supreme
Council from the ranks of senior judges (including senior Public Prosecution officials) and is appointed by Egypt
’s President for a non-renewable term of four years.65
The Public Prosecutor is assisted by deputy prosecutors, attorneys general with responsibility within governorate
s for different geographical areas, and district prosecutors in the districts of each governorate,66
and those are also appointed by a Presidential decree.67
The Public Prosecution’s powers include investigating cases to determine whether or not there is evidence to purs
ue a criminal prosecution before the courts, as well as prosecuting cases where such evidence is deemed to exist.
68 These powers
investigating alleged criminal acts or other wrongdoing by public servants, including the police and other state 
employees and agents, except members of the armed forces, who are subject to a military code of justice presided 
over by military
prosecutors and courts.69 Article 77 of the 1971 Police Authority Law makes the Public Prosecution responsible fo
r investigating alleged criminal acts and corruption violations by the police and public officials.70
When conducting such investigations, prosecutors are empowered to enter and search police stations and
other official places of detention without advanced notification, review and check registers of places of

62 Article 125 of the Judicial Authority Law. 63 Article 189 of the Constitution and Article 1 of the Law No. 150
 of 1950 Issuing The Code of Criminal Procedures (the CCP).  64 Article 189 of the Constitution and Article 1 of 
the CCP. 65 Article
189 of
the Constitution.  66 Articles 116, 117, 118, and 119 of the Judicial Authority Law.

67 Article 119 (para. 2) of the Judicial Authority Law. 68 Articles 21-29 of the CCP.  69 Articles 4-8(bis) of La
w No. 25 of 1966 on the Code of Military Justice.  70 Article 77(bis) of Law No. 109 of 1971 on the Police Author
ity Law.  EGYPT:
                             51 Amnesty International

detention and ascertain whether all detainees are held lawfully, and are not arbitrarily detained. If they find t
hat the police have violated a detainee’s rights, they must investigate the alleged violation.71 Prosecutors are 
also empowered to
charge police officers accused of criminal acts and authorize their pre-trial detention and refer them to crimina
l courts for trial.
Several Articles of Egypt’s Penal Code, Law No. 58 of 1937, seek to protect individuals from abusive acts by poli
ce and other public officials, make police officers and other public officials criminally liable for certain acts
 and set out
those acts. Thus, under Article 126, any police officer or other security official responsible for the torture of
 a detainee is liable for imprisonment for three to 10 years, or life imprisonment (25 years) if the torture resu
lted in the death of
detainee; Article 128 prescribes a penalty of up to three years of imprisonment for any police or other official 
who forcibly enters a private place without first obtaining a reasoned judicial order; Article 129 provides a pen
alty of up to one
prison if a police officer or other official harms an individual’s “honour”, physically or psychologically; and A
rticle 280 punishes arbitrary arrests without a judicial order with a sentence of up to three years of imprisonme
In practice, as this report shows, these Penal Code provisions are systematically flouted by police and other sec
urity officials who routinely raid and search homes and subject individuals to arbitrary arrest, detention, enfor
ced disappearance
torture. The same provisions are also routinely flouted by prosecutors who disregard their legal responsibility t
o record and investigate such abuses and to hold perpetrators to account. In many reported cases, prosecutors cle
arly opted to “look
other way” when confronted with detainees’ allegations of torture, NSA-falsified arrest dates and other evidence 
of unlawful detention and enforced disappearance rather than take on the seemingly all-powerful security authorit
ies – and so became
complicit in these violations and NSA efforts to conceal them.
For example, according to Islam Khalil’s family (see above), when taken before the East Alexandria prosecutor on 
21 September 2015, Islam pointed to injuries he had sustained under torture but the prosecutor refused to send hi
m to hospital or
independent medical examination. He took no action to investigate his four months of enforced disappearance or th
e NSA’s falsification of the arrest date – his NSA case file says he was arrested on 20 September 2015 at a flat 
in Cairo although he
been detained since security forces removed him and his father and brother from their home in Tanta the previous 
May. The prosecutor failed to correct his arrest date although the family submitted copies of inquiry telegrams t
hey had sent to the
Interior Ministry and Public Prosecution between May and September.72
Such failures by prosecutors underscore the lack of independence of the Public Prosecution and ordinary prosecuto
rs’ susceptibility to pressure from the security forces and State Security Prosecutors (see below). Lawyers engag
ed in
cases report that district prosecutors frequently feel obliged to consult their superiors and the State Security 
Prosecution when considering whether to allow a detainee’s release or to dismiss a case because of a lack of evid
ence although they
supposed to decide solely
based on their assessment of the detainee’s response to the evidence set out by the NSA.73

71 Article 56 of the Constitution, Article 42 of the CCP and Article 27 of Law No. 46 of 1972 on the Judiciary (t
he Judicial Authority Law).   72 In October 2015, Assistant Minister for Human Rights, Major-General Salah Fouad,
 denied that Islam
had been subjected to an enforced disappearance but gave his place of arrest as Tanta, whereas the NSA-investigat
ion report continues to claim that he was arrested in Cairo. Al-Shorouk, “Assistant Minister of Interior for Huma
n Rights: ‘Enforced
disappearances’ are Brotherhood lies [original in Arabic]”, 14 October 2015, available at www.shorouknews.com/new
s/view.aspx?cdate=14102015&id=f2bedcbb-399f-4be1-8d61-ccce5f997215  73 According to at least seventeen lawyers in
terviewed by Amnesty
International, district prosecutors must to check with their superiors, either the Attorney General or the Public
 Prosecutor, before they issue their decision in “terrorism”-related offences. For instance, in Islam Khalil’s ca
se, the prosecutor
Islam Khalil and his lawyers during the detention-renewal sessions that “…if it had been in my hands I would have
 released you and others in the case because there is no evidence against the defendants… however, I have to chec
k with the Attorney
or the State Security Prosecution Office before dismissing the case or releasing any of the defendants in the cas
e, including Islam.”

                                    52 Amnesty International

9.2 THE SUPREME STATE SECURITY PROSECUTION Cases deemed to involve matters of state security and terrorism fall u
nder the remit of the Supreme State Security Prosecution, who operates under the authority of the Public Prosecut
or. Created under a
Ministry of Justice decree of 8 March 1953,74 prior to the amendment of the Judicial Authority Law in 2006,75 the
 Supreme State Security Prosecutor is a special prosecutor with jurisdiction over “crimes affecting national secu
rity and national
crimes related to publications about government officials, crimes related to strikes… crimes related to harming t
he government internally or externally.”76   This broad definition enables State Security Prosecutors to assert j
urisdiction over
would otherwise be investigated by ordinary prosecutors involving matters such as rights to freedom of expression
, peaceful assembly and association – such as publishing information about the military or the Ministry of Interi
or or participating
unauthorized protests or labour strikes. According to lawyers who have represented detainees before both ordinary
 and State Security Prosecutors, the latter appear to work hand in glove with the NSA and police, in some cases q
uestioning accused
detainees while they remain blindfolded or warning detainees against seeking to retract “confessions”, telling th
em they will be sent back for further NSA detention, interrogation and torture. Lawyers also complain that State 
Security Prosecutors
first question detainees without their lawyers present to advise them, refuse to allow detainees to have their fa
milies attend and prevent or hinder lawyers’ access to detainees’ official case files setting out the state’s cas
e against them.
to the lawyer of Karim Abd el-Moez (see above), his client had bruises on his face and body when he first appeare
d before a State Security Prosecutor on 17 November 2015 at a hearing the lawyer was able to attend. The NSA inve
stigation report
Karim Abd el-Moez of belonging to the armed group calling itself Islamic State and gave his arrest date as 17 Nov
ember 2015 although, he told the prosecutor that he had been detained by the NSA since early August, in condition
s of enforced
disappearance, tortured and
forced to “confess.” The prosecutor failed, however, to consider and investigate his allegations or why the NSA h
as provided a false arrest date and used the NSA report as a basis to charge Karim Abd el-Moez and authorize his 
continued detention
await trial.77 In May 2016, his lawyer was still denied access to his casefile.  Abu Bakr Farag told Amnesty Inte
rnational that his father Atef Mohamed Farag and brother Yehia Farag (see above) were detained incommunicado at t
he NSA’s
Lazoughly Square, Cairo, and subjected to enforced disappearance for 159 days after security forces raided their 
home on 28 July 2015. He filed a report on their disappearance with a Mansheyet Nasr prosecutor who, three months
 later, received a
from the police stating that Atef and Yehia Farag were being held by the NSA. The communication was dated 16 Nove
mber 2015. Yet, when both men were taken before a State Security Prosecutor on 3 January 2016, the NSA investigat
ion report gave 2
as their date of arrest, suggesting that they had been in custody for no more than a few hours. In fact, they had
 by then been held for almost six months. Although the earlier police communication, dated 16 November 2015, was 
brought to the
attention of
State Security Prosecutor, he failed to order an investigation or take any action with regard to the detainees’ p
rolonged incommunicado detention and enforced disappearance or the falsification of their arrest dates by NSA off
icers. Nor did the
prosecutor order an investigation after Atef Farag reported that security officials had stripped him naked and to
rtured him with electric shocks, including to his genitals. The prosecutor did not refer him for an independent m
edical examination
means of assessing his allegations or take any other action. The prosecutor, who questioned both men without allo
wing them to have their lawyers or family members present, formally charged them with offences based on the NSA i
nvestigation report
accused them of belonging to the MB and authorized their continued detention pending trial.

74 Minister of Justice Decree of 8 March 1953, published in Official Gazette No. 22 on 12 March 1953.  75 Law No.
 142 of 2006 On Amending Some Provisions of the Judicial Authority Law No. 46 of 1972. 76 Judicial Instructions t
o the Public
Chapter 17, Article 1588. 77 Case No. “672/2015”, State Security. EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEA
RED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      53 Amnesty 

9.3 CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS FOR CHILDREN AND THE CHILD PROSECUTION The Child Prosecution and courts were established
 by the Child Law and they exclusively deal with issues concerning children accused of a crime or “delinquency”.7
8 They assume the
the Public Prosecution and ordinary courts in relation to children under the age of 18.79 Exceptionally, however,
 children can be prosecuted before criminal courts under the remit of the Public Prosecution or State Security Pr
osecution if they
accused of having an adult accomplice.  The Child Law prohibits prosecutors from authorizing the pre-trial detent
ion of children under 15, specifying alternatives such as placing the child in an “observation centre” for no mor
e than one week or
returning the child to its parents.80 Yet, as this report shows, prosecutors have authorized the pre-trial detent
ion of children aged under 15 for renewable periods of 15 days at the behest of the NSA and ignored the Child Law
’s Article 112,
prohibits the detention of children with adults. As reported here, children have been detained in police stations
 in the same cells as adults despite their families’ complaints to prosecutors, although the Child Law prescribes
 a penalty of three
of imprisonment for officials who detain children together with adults (see below). According to the family of As
er Mohamed, he was aged 14 when arrested (see above), yet a senior State Security Prosecutor who questioned him o
n 15 October 2015
“It seems you want to go back to the electric shocks again” when Aser denied the NSA’s accusations against him an
d failed to investigate his alleged torture, instead charging him on the basis of the NSA report and his torture-

The prosecutor then authorized his continued detention pending trial along with adults in contravention of Articl
e 119 which prohibits pre-trial detention of children under Article 15 and Article 112 that prohibits the detenti
on of children
adults. The prosecutor also did not refer the case of Aser Mohamed to a child prosecutor in contravention of Arti
cles 120 and 122 of the Child Law.  According to his mother, Abd el-Rahman Osama (see above), aged 17, told the o
rdinary prosecutor
questioned him on 14 July that following his arrest he had been taken to a third floor room in Dar al-Salam Polic
e Station known as the “fridge” and tortured with electric shocks until he implicated himself and Mohamed Osama, 
his brother who was
detained, in possessing weapons and using them against the security forces. The prosecutor took no action; he did
 not refer Abd el-Rahman for an independent medical examination or take any other steps to investigate his allege
d torture and other
ill-treatment; instead based on the “confessions” and the NSA’s investigation reports formally charged Abd el-Rah
man with financing anti-government protests, distributing weapons to protesters and membership of the banned MB, 
and authorized his
continued detention. The prosecutor also did not note that Abd el-Rahman was held in a police station alongside a
dults in the same cell.  Mazen Mohamed Abdallah (see above), aged 14, was interrogated by the NSA in First and Se
cond Nasr City
Stations in Cairo about his membership of the MB, his participation in protests and the names of other protesters
 and activists found on his phone. After denying the claims, Mazen Mohamed Abdallah described being repeatedly be
aten, raped with a
stick and given electric shocks, including on his genitals, until he was willing to “confess” to “anything just t
o stop the torture”.

According to his mother when Mazen Mohamed Abdallah was taken before a State Security Prosecutor for the first ti
me on 8 October 2015 the NSA investigation report said he had been arrested the previous day, 7 October. In fact,
 he had been
continuously since NSA officials took him from his home on 30 September 2015. He told the prosecutor that he had 
been detained incommunicado, subjected to rape and other torture and ill-treatment until he made a “confession” a
nd was threatened by
officers that he would face further torture and his parents would be arrested if he retracted his confessions. Ma
zen Abdallah’s lawyer, who was only allowed to attend the last few minutes of the questioning, informed the prose
cutor that his
been detained on 30 September, not 7 October, but the prosecutor failed to

78 A felony, misdemeanor or misdeed committed by a child under the age of 18.  79 Articles 120 and 122 of the Chi
ld Law.  80 An “observation centre” is a place where government psychosocial workers observe the behavior of the 
child and report
the judiciary on their behaviour, including on whether the child should remain in custody or be released. The Pub
lic Prosecution has powers to place a child in such a center under Article 119 of the Child Law. EGYPT: ‘OFFICIAL
DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      54 
Amnesty International

address this falsification of the arrest date by the NSA and Mazen Abdallah’s allegations of torture.81 The prose
cutor formally charged Mazen Abdallah with the accusations set out in the NSA report and reportedly asked “how ar
e you denying the
now when I can see that you have already confessed?”, when Mazen Abdallah retracted his “confession.” The prosecu
tor authorized his continued detention under a renewable 15-day order in contravention of Article 119. On 31 Janu
ary 2016, Mazen
was released from custody to await trial.
dependence of the Public Prosecution. In particular, it falls under the administrative responsibility of the Mini
stry of Justice,
responsible for assessing the performance of Public Prosecutors and reporting on them to the Supreme Judicial Cou
ncil.82 The Ministry of Justice is also empowered to investigate alleged misconduct by Public Prosecutors and tak
e disciplinary
against them.83 This may have the effect of deterring Public Prosecutors from pursuing complaints against the pol
ice, given they can face disciplinary measures by the Ministry of Justice which is part of the executive authorit
y. In other words,
prosecutors held police officers to account for the abuses they commit, the Ministry of Justice, which is under t
he executive authority, has the power to take disciplinary measures against them and can retaliate against prosec
utors who act
police abuse through negative assessments of prosecutors’ performance. This can prevent promotion or even lead to
 being sacked from the Public Prosecution. Some legal experts have portrayed the Ministry of Justice as a “sword 
directed at the neck
of the
Public Prosecution and the judiciary”.

Further, many Public Prosecutors are reported to be graduates of Egypt’s Police Academy (police university), who 
receive a law degree (LLB) when they graduate but are generally not trained or instructed in international human 
rights law. No
figures are available for the number of police academy graduates currently employed as Public Prosecutors; accord
ing to one recent media report, at least 400 of the 797 Public Prosecutors appointed in 2015 were police academy 
graduates, with the
recruited from law schools.84  International standards provide that prosecutors should be able to conduct their r
ole independently and impartially, without interference. The United Nations Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors
 stipulates that
shall ensure that prosecutors are able to perform their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, h
arassment, improper interference or unjustified exposure to civil, penal or other liability”.85 Also the Internat
ional Association of
Prosecutors’ Standards of Professional Responsibility and Statement of the Essential Duties and Rights of Prosecu
tors states: “The use of prosecutorial discretion, when permitted in a particular jurisdiction, should be exercis
ed independently and
free from political interference”.86

81 Egypt’s Constitution requires the police to refer a detainee to a prosecutor within 24 hours after their arres
t, which did not happen in Mazen Abdallah’s case. When the security forces referred Mazen Abdallah to the State S
ecurity Prosecutor
October 2015, they reported that he had been arrested on 7 October, 24 hours earlier, in an attempt to show the a
rrest was legal.   82 Article 78 of the Judicial Authority Law. 83 Articles 78, 79 and 93 of the Judicial Authori
ty Law. 84
“Widespread controversy after the appointment of 400 police officers to the Public Prosecution”, 23 December 2015
, available at http://bit.ly/29mrNq6 85 Principle 4 of the UN Guidelines on the Roles of Prosecutors, available a
www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/RoleOfProsecutors.aspx   86 International Association for Prosecutors
 (IAP), Standards of professional responsibility and statement of the essential duties and rights of prosecutors,
 23 April 1999,
at www.iap-association.org/getattachment/34e49dfe-d5db-4598-91da-
OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      55 Amnesty International

10. EGYPT’S LEGAL OBLIGATIONS   10.1 INTERNATIONAL LAW  Egypt is a party to several international treaties that c
ommit the government to respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including by conducting independent investigati
ons into alleged
and holding those who perpetrate torture and other human rights violations to account through criminal prosecutio
ns. In particular, Egypt has ratified the International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and on Ec
onomic, Social and
Rights (ICESCR) and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment 
(CAT).87 These international treaties oblige the Egyptian government to ensure, among other things, that no indiv
idual is subject to
arbitrary arrest or imprisonment, that every individual’s right to due process and fair trial is respected, and t
hat all persons are protected against torture or other ill-treatment by state authorities. Article 7 of the ICCPR
, for example,
that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”88  Article
 9 of the ICCPR sets out key guarantees against arbitrary detention and unfair trial, including the right to libe
rty and security of
person, the right not to be subjected to arbitrary arrest and detention (Article 9(1)); and the right to challeng
e the lawfulness of their detention before a court of law (Article 9(4)). The UN Human Rights Committee, the body
 of independent
that monitors States Parties’ compliance with the ICCPR, has stated: “Enforced disappearances violate numerous su
bstantive and procedural provisions of the Covenant and constitute a particularly aggravated form of arbitrary de

The CAT – which defines torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is int
entionally inflicted on a person …at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official 
or other person
an official capacity” – requires that States party to the treaty “take effective, legislative, administrative, ju
dicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture” in areas within their jurisdiction (Article 2). It also obli
ges all states
“ensure that all acts of torture are offences under its criminal law” including acts that constitute “complicity 
or participation in torture” (Article 4), to undertake a “prompt and impartial investigation” whenever there is “
reasonable ground to
believe that an act of torture has been committed” (Article 12), and that victims of torture obtain redress and h
ave an “enforceable right to fair and adequate compensation” (Article 14).90

87 Egypt signed the ICCPR and ICESCR on 4 August 1967 and ratified them on 14 January 1982. Egypt ratified the Co
nvention Against Torture (CAT) in 1986.  88 Although Egypt entered reservations against certain articles of the I
CCPR when it
treaty, it entered no reservations against the articles cited here, indicating that Egypt committed to uphold the
 provisions without reservation.  89 Human Rights Committee, General Comment No. 35, Article 9 (Liberty and secur
ity of person) (UN
CCPR/C/GC/35), 16 December 2014, para. 17. 90 Egypt has neither signed nor ratified the First Optional Protocol t
o the ICCPR, nor has it signed or ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Crue
l, Inhuman or
Treatment or Punishment. The former establishes a right of individual complaint to the Human Rights Committee, th
e ICCPR-treaty-monitoring body, against violations by a state party to the ICCPR; the latter establishes a system
 of independent
international monitoring of places of detention to ensure the protection of those at risk of torture. EGYPT: ‘OFF
Amnesty International

Egypt is also a state party to two regional human rights instruments, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ R
ights and the Arab Charter on Human Rights.91 These treaties also prohibit torture in all circumstances, and guar
antee rights to due
and fair trial, and to liberty and freedom from arbitrary arrest, search and detention.92
Egypt is also party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child;93 Article 37 which requires the government to e
nsure that no child is “subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” or “de
prived of his or her
liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily”. Article 37 also requires that every child who is deprived of their liberty is
 treated humanely and in a manner that takes account of their age, and has “the right to prompt access to legal a
nd other appropriate
assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a cour
t or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.”

Egypt has not signed or ratified the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Dis
appearance (ICPPED),94 which requires States Parties to criminalise enforced disappearances (Article 3), investig
ate and bring to
any person who “commits, orders, solicits or induces” or attempts to commit an enforced disappearance (Article 6)
, and notes that “The widespread or systematic practice of enforced disappearance constitutes a crime against hum
anity as defined in
applicable international law” (Article 5). However, every enforced disappearance violates a range of human rights
, many of which are non-derogable. Treaty bodies, human rights courts and other human rights bodies have repeated
ly found that
disappearances violate the right to liberty and security of the person,95 the right not to be subjected to tortur
e or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,96 the right to a remedy,97 and the right to life.
98 Thus, the fact
Egypt is not a party to the ICPPED does not release the Egyptian government from the obligation not to subject an
yone to enforced disappearance. Because enforced disappearances can violate several human rights simultaneously, 
they are referred to
“multiple” or “cumulative” human rights violations. An enforced disappearance is also a “continuing crime”, which
 takes place so long as the disappeared person remains missing and information about his or her fate or whereabou
ts has not been
provided by
the state responsible.
10.2 EGYPTIAN CONSTITUTION AND LAW Although enforced disappearances are not specifically criminalized under Egypt
ian law, Egypt’s Constitution (adopted and endorsed by national referendum in January 2014), CCP, Child Law, othe
r criminal laws and
regulating the police contain many human rights protections and safeguards relevant to the prevention of enforced
 disappearances. In particular, various provisions of Egyptian law specifically prohibit arrests and house search
es without reasoned
judicial warrants, detention outside judicial authority and in unofficial places of detention, denial of access b
y detainees to families and legal counsel, and torture and other ill-
treatment by state authorities, as briefly set out below.

91 Egypt signed the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights in 1981 and ratified it in 1984; it signed the A
rab Charter on Human Rights in 2004 but has not yet ratified it.   92 Articles 5, 7 and 6 of the African Charter 
on Human and
Rights; Articles 8, 13 and 14 of the Arab Charter for Human Rights.  93 Egypt signed and ratified the Convention 
on the Rights of the Child in 1990. 94 By May 2016, 51 States had ratified and 95 States were signatories to this
 treaty, which came
force on 23 December 2010 and requires all States Parties to adopt legislation criminalizing “enforced disappeara
95 European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), Kurt v Turkey Judgment, 25 May 1998; Inter-American Court of Human Rig
hts (IACtHR), Velasquez Rodriguez v Honduras Judgment, 29 July 1988. 96 African Commission on Human and Peoples’ 
Rights, Amnesty
International and others v Sudan, Communications 48/90, 50/91, 52/91 and 89/93, 15 November 1999; UN Human Rights
 Committee, Mojica v Dominican Republic, Communication 449/1991, Views, 10 August 1994. 97 IACtHR, Blake v Guatem
ala Judgment, 24
1998; ECtHR, Tas v Turkey Judgment, 14 November 2000. 98 ECtHR, Demiray v Turkey Judgment, 21 November 2000; IACt
HR, Bamaca Velasquez v Guatemala Judgment, 25 November 2000. EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED A
COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      57 Amnesty International

10.2.1 ARREST AND DETENTION Egypt’s Constitution provides a series of guarantees against arbitrary arrest and det
ention, restricting the powers of the security forces to arrest individuals without reason. However, as shown in 
this report security
arrest people without possessing a judicial arrest warrant and falsify their dates of arrest to conceal the perio
d they spent in enforced disappearance. According to Article 54 of the Constitution,99
“[I]t is not permissible to arrest, search, detain, or restrict the freedom of anyone in any way except by virtue
 of a reasoned judicial order that was required in the context of an investigation.”
The same Article requires that anyone arrested is immediately notified in writing of the reasons for their arrest
 and allowed to contact their relatives and a lawyer.100
Article 40 of the CCP also prohibits the arrest and detention of any person without judicial order101 except in c
ases where the person is apprehended while “caught in the act”. Article 139102 requires that anyone arrested or h
eld in “preventive
detention” is immediately told the reason for their arrest and allowed to contact whoever they consider appropria
te to inform about it and a lawyer.
Egypt’s new Counter-terrorism Law (Law No. 94 of 2015), decreed by President al-Sisi in August 2015, has eroded t
hese fundamental safeguards against arbitrary arrest and detention. Articles 40 and 41 of the law empower the aut
horities to arrest
detain people suspected of committing or preparing to commit “terrorism” without judicial warrant and detain them
 without access to their families or lawyers for up to eight days, although they must notify the Public Prosecuti
on.103 This clearly
breaches the Constitution, the fundamental source of Egyptian law that guarantees all arrested persons the right 
to contact their family and lawyers immediately.
Egyptian law criminalizes arbitrary arrests and detentions. Article 280 of the Penal Code prescribes a penalty of
 up to three years or a fine for any convicted of carrying out arrests arbitrarily, without a judicial order.104 
In practice,
this report shows, the authorities routinely fail to uphold the law in this regard and hold to account members of
 the security forces who carry out arbitrary arrests and detentions.
10.2.2 SEARCH POWERS Police search powers are limited by the Constitution and the CCP. According to Article 58 of
 the Constitution: “Privacy of homes is inviolable. Except for cases of danger or call for help, homes may not be
 entered, inspected,
monitored or eavesdropped except by a reasoned judicial warrant specifying the place, the time and the purpose th
ereof… Upon entering or inspection, the residents of houses must be apprised and have access to the warrant issue
d in this regard.”
Articles 91 and 92 of the CCP require that all searches of homes fall under the authority of the judiciary and ca
n only be carried out by a reasoned judicial order and on the basis of an official charge directed to the person 
whose property is to
searched, who must be present or have a representative present when the
search is carried out.  Egyptian law criminalizes illegal searches of property conducted by state officials. Arti
cle 128 of the Penal Code (58/1937) prescribes a penalty of up to three years or fine for State officials who arb
itrarily enter the
house of
an individual without their consent, with the exception of cases set forth under law. In practice, security force
s have little reason to fear that they will be held accountable under the law.

99 Article 54 of the Constitution.  100 “Every person whose freedom is restricted shall be immediately notified o
f the reasons therefore; shall be informed of his/her rights in writing; shall be immediately enabled to contact 
his/her relatives
101 Article 40 of the CCP. 102 Article 139 of the CCP.  103 Articles 40 and 41 of the Counter-Terrorism Law. 104 
“Whoever arrests, confines or, detains a person without an order from one of the concerned judges, and in other t
han the cases
laws and statutes authorize the arrest of suspects, shall be punished with detention or fine not exceeding 200 Eg
yptian pounds.”

                                    58 Amnesty International

P require that security forces present detainees before a prosecutor promptly following arrest and grant them acc
ess to lawyers. The
Constitution, under Article 54, similarly provides: “Every person whose freedom is restricted shall be brought be
fore the investigation authority within twenty four (24) hours as of the time of restricting his/her freedom. Inv
estigations may not
with the person unless his/her lawyer is present. A lawyer shall be seconded for persons who do not have one.”

Article 36 of the CCP also requires the police to refer all persons they arrest to the Public Prosecution within 
24 hours and that a lawyer should be present to represent the arrested person during their questioning by the pro

10.2.4 RIGHT OF APPEAL AGAINST DETENTION  The Constitution upholds the rights of detainees to challenge the legal
ity of their detention before a court, widely recognized as a key safeguard against arbitrary detention and enfor
ced disappearance.
54 of the Constitution provides every person deprived of their liberty with a right of appeal to the courts again
st their detention, which must decide within a week on whether the detention is lawful:  “Every person whose free
dom is restricted,
as others, shall have the right to file grievance before the court against this action. A decision shall be made 
on such grievance within one (1) week as of the date of action; otherwise, the person must be immediately release
Individuals detained by Egyptian security forces in conditions that amount to enforced disappearances are deprive
d of this fundamental right, enshrined in both international law and Egypt’s Constitution.

 all individuals deprived of their liberty must be held in official places of detention, which are subject to jud
icial oversight. In
practice, these laws have been powerless to protect detainees from enforced disappearances.  Article 56 of the Co
nstitution states:  “Prisons and places of detention shall be subject to judiciary supervision, where actions inc
onsistent with human
dignity or which endanger human health shall be prohibited.”
CCP Article 41 requires that all detainees are held in officially designated places of detention: “no one should 
be detained except in prisons specified for detention purposes, and prison heads must not accept any person in th
eir prisons unless
with an
order from the competent authority. [that is, the Public Prosecution].”106 Police stations and Central Security f
orces camps are considered official places of detention if the Public Prosecutor has been informed by the Ministr
y of Interior that
they are
to be used as places of detention and the names of detainees are recorded. The law gives the Minister of Interior
 the powers to issue decrees considering camps, police stations or other places as official places of detention, 
however the minister
has to
inform the Public Prosecutor and the judiciary about the new place of detention. The prosecutors and judges have 
the powers to inspect these new places of detention at any time and without advanced notice as prescribed in the 

105 Article 36 of the CCP.  106 Article 41 of the CCP.  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TO
RTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      59 Amnesty Internatio

Both the Constitution in Article 56 and the CCP in Article 42 provide for judicial oversight of all official plac
es of detention, including powers to enter and conduct inspections of places of detention without advance notice 
and to review each
detainee’s case, to ensure that their detention is pursuant to a judicial order. These safeguards under the Const
itution and the CCP aim to prohibit incommunicado detention outside of
the judicial oversight where people are vulnerable to torture and other ill-treatment.   In practice, as the case
s cited above illustrate, these constitutional and legal safeguards are currently ineffective and flouted due to 
the authorities’
failure to
uphold and enforce them. In particular, the
authorities currently maintain many unofficial places of detention in which they hold detainees in conditions tha
t do not conform to either the Constitution or the CCP and which are not open to inspection by the judiciary. The
se include the NSA
headquarters in Lazoughly Square, Cairo, and NSA premises in other cities and towns across Egypt; police stations
 in which detainees are held without their names being recorded in official registers at arrival, apparently on t
he authority of the
Riot Police Control camps; and detention facilities operated by the armed forces, including Military Intelligence
 offices and military prisons.
10.2.6 PROHIBITION OF TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT Although Egypt has ratified the CAT, it has not incorporate
d the definition of torture contained in the convention in Egyptian national law. Hence, it was left to Egyptian 
courts to define
They did this in 1986 in a case known as felony number 3856 of 1986, stating:107
“…in the opinion of the court torture is a form of violence, assault or coercion. Physical torture includes beati
ng, injuring, tying the limbs, detention, humiliation, deprivation of food or sleep or any other forms of physica
l harm and
an act to be termed as physical torture it does not require any degree of intensity or gravity….Moral torture, ho
wever, aims to humiliate a person to force a confession…”

Constitutional safeguards against torture include Article 51, which declares that
“Dignity is the right of every human being and may not be violated. The State shall respect and protect human dig
nity,” and Article 52, which states: “Torture in all forms and types is a crime that is not subject to

The reference to torture as a crime “not subject to prescription” means that the right to file a criminal case co
ncerning torture does not lapse due to the passage of time and is not affected by the general rule under Egyptian
 law, encapsulated
Article 15, that requires anyone filing a criminal case to do so within 20 years of its commission if a felony, w
ithin three years if a misdemeanor, and one year if an “infraction,” or violation.108 Both the Constitution and t
he CCP, therefore,
that torture is so grave an offence that there should be no time limit on the right of a victim of torture to fil
e a criminal case against those allegedly responsible for their torture.
Article 55 of the Constitution also relates to the treatment of those detained, declaring  ”Every person who is e
ither arrested, detained, or his freedom is restricted shall be treated in a manner that maintains his dignity. H
e/she may not be
intimidated, coerced, or physically or morally harmed.”

The same Article prohibits the use of confessions obtained through torture in trial proceedings, declares such co
nfessions unreliable, and states:109
“An accused has the right to remain silent. Every statement proved to be made by a detainee under any of the fore
going actions, or threat thereof, shall be disregarded and not be relied upon.”

107 Case number 3856 of 1986, Zagazig felonies, session of 17 March 1987. 108 Article 15 of the CCP.  109 Article
                                  60 Amnesty International

The CCP, in Article 40, also prohibits both physical and psychological torture and declares that statements made 
under duress or threat must be considered null and void. Every detainee, according to CCP Article 40, “should be 
treated humanely and
respect for his inherent dignity and should be not physically or psychologically abused.”

Article 126 of the Penal Code makes torture punishable by up to 10 years of imprisonment, or longer if the tortur
e results in death but fails to address complicity, where a public official fails to intervene to prevent the use
 of torture by
officials or
others under his authority.110 The Court of Cassation, however, has addressed this, confirming in its precedents 
that the superior will be held accountable if he fails to restrain his subordinates from using torture that he kn
ows to be occurring
even if
he did not order the torture:
“When torture becomes a usual act, such as when a superior refrains from prohibiting his subordinates the torture
 of defendants to forcibly extract a confession, it shall be considered in itself an order to torture defendants.
Article 129 of the Penal Code prescribes a sentence up to one year of imprisonment and a fine for any “civil serv
ant, public employee or any person in charge of public office who, relying on his position, uses cruelty with peo
ple and causes
dishonour to
them or physical pain,” while Penal Code Article 282 (2) prescribes a sentence of “harsh imprisonment” for “anyon
e who unlawfully arrests a person and threatens to kill him or subjects him to physical torture.”112

In practice, the failure of prosecutors to effectively, independently and impartially investigate torture allegat
ions or conditions in detention has meant that Egyptian law has proved powerless to protect detainees.
10.2.7 CHILDREN UNDER THE LAW The Egyptian Constitution and national laws provide special protection for children
 (persons under the age of 18), enumerating particular provisions and safeguards for children who come into conta
ct with the justice
 Article 80 of the Constitution states that:   “Anyone under the age of 18 shall be considered a child…. The Stat
e shall provide children with care and protection from all forms of violence, abuse, mistreatment and commercial 
and sexual
Children may not be held criminally accountable or detained save as provided in the Law and for the period of tim
e specified therein. In such a case, they shall be provided with legal assistance and detained in appropriate loc
ations separate from
allocated for the detention of adults. The State shall endeavour to achieve the best interest of children in all 
measures taken against them.”

The Child Law also provides further protection to children in criminal proceedings and puts in place safeguards f
or their safety. Article 112 of this law prohibits their detention alongside adults, it states: “Children may not
 be detained, placed
custody, or imprisoned with adults in one place. In detention, it should be observed that children are to be clas
sified according to their age, sex, and nature of their crime.”

The law proscribes penalties for violating this Article and states in the second part of Article 112 that childre
n:  “Shall be sentenced to jail for a period not less than three (3) months, and not exceeding two (2) years, and
 a fine not less
thousand (1,000) Egyptian pounds (100 USD), and not more than five thousand (5,000) Egyptian

110 “Any public servant or official who orders, or participates in the torture of an accused person with a view t
o inducing the said person to make a confession shall be punished by imprisonment for a period of three to ten ye
ars. If the victim
the penalty shall be that prescribed for premeditated murder”.
111 Challenge No. 2460 of Judicial Year 49, session of 13 November 1980; Challenge 294 of Judicial Year 50, sessi
on of 29 May 1980. 112 “Harsh imprisonment” under Articles 14 and 16 of the Penal Code is imprisonment of between
 three to fifteen
                                    61 Amnesty International

pounds (500 USD), or by one of the two penalties, any public official or in charge of a public service who detain
s, places in custody, or imprisons a child with one or more adults in one place.”

Article 119 of the same law also prohibits the pre-trial detention of children under the age of 15 years old. It 
states: “A child who has not reached fifteen (15) years of age shall not be placed in temporary custody. The Publ
Prosecution may place him in one of the observation centers, for a period not exceeding one (1) week, and shall m
ake him available upon each request if the circumstances of the case necessitate keeping him in custody”.        
  “As an alternative
to the
procedure of the previous paragraph, an order may be issued to deliver the child to one of his parents, or to his
 guardian, and make him available upon each request.”

Article 125 of the same law requires that children facing criminal proceedings have access to legal representatio
n whether they are accused of felonies or misdemeanours. The Article states: “The child has the right to legal as
sistance; he shall
represented in criminal and misdemeanour cases whose penalty is placing him in custody by a lawyer to defend him 
in both the investigation and trial phases. If no lawyer has been selected by the child, the Public Prosecution o
r the Court shall
one, in accordance with the rules and regulation of the Criminal Procedure Code”.

As this report showed, the law has provided children with little protection. Children have been arbitrarily arres
ted by security forces from their homes; held incommunicado without access to their families or lawyers; tortured
, including by rape
suspension by their limbs, to force them to “confess” to offences. They have been questioned and charged by ordin
ary or State Security Prosecutors instead of child prosecutors, without access to lawyers; and prosecutors have o
rdered the pre-trial
detention of children under 15 years, who have been detained alongside adults.  In conclusion, Egypt’s laws safeg
uards the rights of the people and protect them from arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detention and enforced disa
ppearances, as well
torture and other ill-treatment. However, the core problem falls on the government institutions including the Min
istry of Interior and the Public Prosecution that fail to enforce these laws and instead flout the provisions of 
the Constitution and
national laws to pursue their objectives and yet escape accountability.

                                    62 Amnesty International


As the cases above indicate, the Egyptian authorities, notably the NSA, now use enforced disappearance to detain 
suspects without acknowledgement, as well as to deny them access to their families, lawyers and judicial oversigh
t. As Amnesty
International’s research and documentation of such human rights violations over many years has shown,113 enforced
 disappearances create conditions that facilitate torture and other ill-
treatment of detainees, as well as unfair trials in which courts rely on torture-tainted “confessions” to sentenc
e government critics and opponents to lengthy prison terms or death.
Enforced disappearances also aim to deter opposition to the government and send a message that the security agenc
ies who use them, such as the NSA, are allowed to violate basic rights with impunity, just as the former SSI enjo
yed immunity for its
during the Mubarak era.
The Egyptian government faces a serious security threat, as it has repeatedly made clear, but this does not justi
fy the serious human rights violations – enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment and grossly unf
air trials – which
increasingly become the norm. Such gross violations of human rights do not and will not enhance Egypt’s security 
and directly contravene the state’s obligations under international law.
The USA, EU member states and others appear to see the Egyptian government as an important ally in the fight agai
nst “terrorism” and a bulwark of regional security. They continue to approve the sales of arms and other supplies
, including
equipment, which have been used to commit or facilitate serious human rights violations. Although the EU decided 
in 2013 to suspend arms transfers that could be used for what it called “internal repression”, such as small arms
 and armoured
the type used by Egyptian security forces when raiding homes and detaining subjects under conditions of enforced 
disappearance, 12 EU states have failed to comply. Meanwhile, the USA remains Egypt’s principle military supplier
 while Russia,
Turkey have also transferred arms to Egypt, despite the risk that they will be used by the government to commit o
r facilitate serious human rights violations.

113 See Amnesty International, China: No end in sight – Torture and forced confessions in China (Index: ASA 17/27
30/2015); Amnesty International, Yemen: 'Where is my father?': Detention and disappearance in Huthi-controlled Ye
men (Index: MDE
31/4006/2016); Amnesty International, Between the prison and the grave – enforced disappearances in Syria (Index:
                            63 Amnesty International


Amnesty International urges President al-Sisi to take the following steps without delay to stem the gross and sys
tematic human rights violations described in this report:

   Promptly establish an independent commission of inquiry to conduct a thorough investigation into allegations o
f enforced disappearances, torture and other ill-treatment of detainees by the NSA and other civilian and militar
y, security,
and law enforcement agencies.
nsure that the Commission of Inquiry is comprised of individuals chosen for their recognized impartiality and com
petence, as well as
independence of any institution, agency or person that may be the subject of, or otherwise involved in the inquir
  ·  Further ensure that the Commission is comprised of individuals with proven expertise, knowledge and experien
ce in the promotion and protection of human rights, including expertise of international human rights law and Egy
ptian law. In this
Amnesty International further recommends that the Commission includes international experts, who can draw on the 
experience of other states in ending and remedying enforced disappearances;
  ·  Ensure that the Commission, while conducting investigations, is free to benefit from the expertise of the Un
ited Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as to seek the advice of the offices of the re
levant special
and independent experts, including the Special Rapporteurs on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treat
ment or punishment; and on terrorism and counter-terrorism; and the Working Groups on Enforced or Involuntary Dis
appearances and on
Arbitrary Detention;
  ·  Ensure that Egyptian civil society organizations, including non-governmental organizations involved in the p
romotion and protection of human rights, may fully participate in the selection and appointment process of the Co
mmission; and
  ·  Ensure that similar criteria to those ensuring the competence, impartiality and independence of the commissi
oners are used for the appointment of professional administrative staff.
EATMENT ·   Mandate the Commission of Inquiry to fully investigate enforced disappearances, as well as torture an
d other
custody by the NSA and other security and law-enforcement agencies, including the military, since August 2013;  ·
   Mandate the Commission to assess the information collected in light of relevant provisions of international hu
man rights law, as
well as
relevant Egyptian laws, with the aim of identifying the EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TO
RTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      64 Amnesty Internatio

   perpetrators of these crimes and ensuring they are referred to proper judicial authorities for criminal invest
igation, prosecution and fair trials; identifying all victims of enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-tr
eatment and
appropriate reparation; and strengthening safeguards in arrest and detention to prevent further use of torture, e
nforced disappearance and arbitrary detention; and ·   Mandate the Commission to investigate the involvement of p
rosecutors in
abuses, including a critical analysis of all factors which have led to or facilitated these violations, such as i
nstitutional structures, policies and practices, and other factors.
GRANT THE COMMISSION THE NECESSARY POWERS TO CARRY OUT ITS WORK ·   Grant the Commission the necessary powers to 
carry out its work and fulfil its mandate, including the power to obtain all the information necessary to the inq
uiry. This would
the power to compel attendance and co-operation of witnesses, including state officials, while fully safeguarding
 their rights;  ·   Ensure the Commission is able to interview Ministry of Interior officials, including NSA agen
ts, as well as
Prosecutors, State Security and Child Prosecutors, officials of the Forensic Authority and any such person whose 
testimony is considered necessary for the fulfilment of the Committee’s mandate;
·   Grant the Commission the powers to order the production of documents, including governmental and other offici
al records. This should include prosecutors’ casefiles, arrest and search warrants, prosecutors’ questioning reco
rds, investigation
compiled by the NSA which allegedly have the falsified dates of arrest; forensic reports, if any, sent to prosecu
tors by the Forensic Authority; and pre-
   trial detention orders, as well as any footage or pictures of detainees confessing to offences;  ·   Grant the
 Commission the power to impose penalties for non-compliance with such orders; ·   Ensure that all information th
at the Commission
to be relevant is provided to it; and ·   Grant the Commission unhindered access to all relevant locations, inclu
ding all places of detention, including access to NSA offices, police stations, camps under the control of the Ce
ntral Security
State Security Prosecutors’ Offices, Child Prosecutors’ Offices and other Public Prosecution Offices across the c
s a matter of principle, all aspects of the work of the Commission of Inquiry are public. So far as possible, the
 media and public
should be
given access to the proceedings and to the evidence on
   which the Commission bases its findings. However, the openness of the investigation and of the information it 
obtains needs to be balanced against the confidentiality of personal information;  ·   Guarantee that complainant
s, witnesses, those
conducting the investigation and others involved with it
   in any way will be protected from violence, threats of violence and any other forms of intimidation; ·   Grant
 the Commission of Inquiry all the necessary human and material resources to devise and implement a victims and w
itnesses protection
programme; and ·   Hold to account officials and others who threaten or intimidate witnesses.
S, TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT ARE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE ·   Ensure that, at the conclusion of the inquiry, the 
Commission must
publish a
summary of its findings;

·   Ensure that the Commission gives its report to the appropriate judicial authorities; and  ·   Given the evide
nce of involvement of Public Prosecutors in covering up violations, Amnesty International recommends that the Sup
reme Judicial
exercises its authority to appoint judges from the Court EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND T
ORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      65 Amnesty Internati

   of Appeals to serve as investigative judges to take charge of the criminal investigation and the prosecution o
f anyone against whom there is sufficient admissible evidence of responsibility for enforced disappearance, tortu
re and other
arbitrary detention and other offences.

 PARTICIPANTS IN COMMISSIONS OF INQUIRY Amnesty International believes that all witnesses, alleged perpetrators a
nd other individuals involved in the Commission of Inquiry should be guaranteed the following rights, amongst oth
ers, at all stages
procedures:  ·   The right not to be discriminated against;  ·   The right to a fair and public hearing by a comp
etent, independent and impartial body; ·   The right not to be compelled to testify against themselves or to conf
ess guilt; ·   The
not to be subjected to any form of coercion, duress or threat, to torture or to any other cruel, inhuman or degra
ding treatment or punishment; ·   The right to be informed promptly and in detail of any allegations made against
 them; ·   The right
defend themselves, and where appropriate, the right to have legal assistance; ·   The right to be presumed innoce
nt until proved guilty according to law; and ·   If adversely affected by a commission decision, the right to see
k judicial review.
Furthermore, in the case of children, the procedures should take account of their age.


·   Order the NSA and other Egyptian military and civilian security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to
 immediately cease subjecting individuals to enforced disappearance and torture and other forms of ill-treatment,
 and instruct all
personnel and other state officials that they will face criminal prosecution and imprisonment if they order, comm
it or acquiesce in cases of enforced disappearances;  ·   Give all individuals who are currently held under condi
tions of enforced
disappearance immediate access to their families and lawyers; ·   Ensure that all such individuals are released w
ithout delay, unless they are promptly charged with recognized criminal offences and tried in full conformity wit
h international fair
standards, which exclude coerced “confessions” and other torture-tainted evidence;  ·   Ensure that anyone detain
ed solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly or association is released imme
diately and
unconditionally; ·   Ensure that children are treated in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice, which req
uire that detention should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of ti
me; ·   Ensure that
those detained are registered, have access to their lawyers, can challenge the legality of their detention before
 an independent court, are provided access to medical care, are held in official
   places of detention and are allowed regular visits by their families;  EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  
DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      66 

·   Ensure that those involved in the search for victims of enforced disappearance, notably the relatives of disa
ppeared detainees, are protected against ill-treatment, intimidation, reprisal, arrests and enforced disappearanc
e; and establish an
independent vetting authority empowered to remove from the NSA any officers who ordered, committed or acquiesced 
in torture or other serious human rights violations during previous service with the SSI. The authority should be
 required to publish
results of its vetting investigations. ·   Urgently establish an independent vetting authority empowered to remov
e from the NSA any officers who ordered, committed or acquiesced in torture or other serious human rights violati
ons during previous
with the SSI. The authority should be required to publish the results of its vetting investigations.

·   Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance and the Opt
ional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and rapidly institute a system of independent national monitorin
g of all places of
detention, including unannounced visits to places of detention and powers to search and to check the detainee reg
isters of these places; ·   Invite (early) visits by relevant UN human rights mechanisms, notably the Special Rap
porteur on torture
other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappear
ances, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while coun
tering terrorism; as
as the Special Rapporteurs on freedom of expression, and on freedom of peaceful assembly and of association;

·   Invite and grant access to the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights and afford the Special 
Representative access to meet in confidence with detainees, victims, families and independent human rights groups
; and Ensure that
who meets with or contacts the UN experts or treaty bodies and the EU Special Representative is protected from po
ssible reprisals, including detention, harassment, threats, acts of
   intimidation, or ill-treatment.

·   Reform the Public Prosecution to ensure its independence from the executive authorities, NSA and other securi
ty, intelligence and police agencies, and make it effective as a judicial authority responsible for upholding the
 law and
detainees’ rights; ·   Ensure that prosecutors have appropriate education and training and are made aware of the 
ideals and ethical duties of their office, the constitutional and statutory protections for the rights of the sus
pect and the victim,
the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized by national and international law; and ensure that these cri
teria are used in selecting candidates for appointment as prosecutors and applied to all applicants, including gr
aduates of the
Academy; and ·   Invite the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on the
 Independence of Judges and Lawyers and other appropriately qualified independent international authorities to ad
vise the Egyptian
government on legal and other measures needed to reform the Public Prosecution to become an effective independent
 judiciary body, one committed to ensuring that all EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  DISAPPEARED AND TORTUR
COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      67 Amnesty International

   arrested persons and detainees are treated in full conformity with the law and that their rights to due proces
s and protection against enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment are fully respected and upheld a
t all times.


·   Immediately repeal or substantially amend the Counter-Terrorism Law and Law No. 107 of 2013, Regulating the R
ight to Public Gatherings, Processions and Peaceful Protests to bring them in line with relevant international hu
man rights law and
standards and the provisions of the Egyptian Constitution.

11.2 CALLS ON THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY  All states that enjoy diplomatic, trading or other relations with Egyp
t should take steps to make clear to the Egyptian government their concern regarding the continued pattern of enf
torture and other ill-treatment, unfair trials and other serious human rights violations and apply all appropriat
e influence and pressure to achieve an immediate end to these violations. In particular, such states should:
   ·   Urge the Egyptian authorities to respect their international treaty obligations to uphold and protect huma
n rights without discrimination or distinction and press the Egyptian authorities to promptly and independently i
nvestigate all
of enforced disappearance and torture and bring to justice those responsible for perpetrating these violations of
 human rights; ·   Press the Egyptian authorities to take these steps both bilaterally and multilaterally through
forums such as the UN Human Rights Council and regional mechanisms such as the African Commission on Human and Pe
oples’ Rights and the League of Arab States; and ·   Engage with the Egyptian authorities to provide technical ad
vice and training on
independence of the judiciary and the reform of the Public Prosecution; as well as on the reform of the NSA and t
he establishment of a fair, effective and transparent vetting system.


   ·   Impose a binding cessation on exports of equipment of the type that has been used, and is likely to be use
d, by the Egyptian security forces to commit or facilitate serious violations of human rights. The scope of the c
essation should
include at
a minimum all small arms, including shotguns, and light weapons and related ammunition falling under ML1, ML2 ML3
 of the EU Military List;114 as well as all items of less lethal equipment, such as tear gas, riot control projec
tiles and launchers;
all armoured vehicles, military helicopters and surveillance technologies;

114 “Common military list of the European Union”, Official Journal of the European Union, 22 March 2012, availabl
e at eur-
lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2012:085:0001:0036:EN:PDF EGYPT: ‘OFFICIALLY, YOU DO NOT EXIST’  
DISAPPEARED AND TORTURED IN THE NAME OF COUNTER-TERORISM                                                      68 

   ·   Further impose a “presumption of denial” policy on the export of other arms in the EU Military List to Egy
pt intended for the Egyptian army and air force because of the reports of some aerial and ground attacks which re
sulted in fatalities
serious injuries and which have not been effectively, independently and impartially investigated. There is the ri
sk that such weapons and associated military equipment could also be deployed to suppress legitimate and peaceful
 protests;  ·
any potential export to Egypt of such items may not be authorized unless a thorough human rights risk assessment 
demonstrates that the Egyptian security forces’ recipient will use the equipment lawfully as specified in a legal
ly binding guarantee
with the Egyptian government. The item under consideration must not be used in contravention of Egypt’s obligatio
      under the CAT and the ICCPR, but only in line with the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms
 for Law Enforcement Officials; and ·   Further maintain this cessation of arms and ‘presumption of denial’ polic
y until the Egyptian
authorities put in place effective safeguards to prevent further serious human rights violations by security forc
es, and carry out full, prompt, independent and impartial investigations into violations presented in this report
 with the aim of
prosecuting those responsible for these violations and bringing them to justice.

                                    69 Amnesty International


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 Over the last 18 months, hundreds of people have been abducted by Egypt’s National Security Agency and held with
out access to their lawyers and families while officials deny any knowledge of their whereabouts.  The National S
ecurity Agency is
victims of such enforced disappearances into “confessing” to serious criminal offences, including “terrorism”. Pr
osecutors routinely ignore allegations of enforced disappearances, as well as evidence of torture and other ill-t
reatment. The wave
enforced disappearances began in March 2015, with the appointment of Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar – a lo
ng-serving officer in Egypt’s state-security forces. Victims have ranged from members of the banned Muslim Brothe
rhood group to
critical of Egypt’s system of government; from retirees to boys as young as aged 14.
 This report is based on over70 interviews with lawyers, NGO workers, released detainees and family members of vi
 Amnesty International is calling on President al-Sisi to appoint an independent commission of inquiry to investi
gate all cases of enforced disappearances and torture and other ill-treatment.
 States should press Egypt to end enforced disappearances and should also prohibit the transfer of arms and equip
ment which the country’s security forces may use to commit human rights violations.

INDEX: MDE 12/4368/2016 JULY 2016 LANGUAGE: ENGLISH amnesty.org