Egypt Watch

Concerns over fate of detained researcher Patrick George

The attorney general issued a statement on Sunday denying that Patrick George was tortured. He also confirmed that investigations had been completed into the case. Patrick George Zaky is an Egyptian master student at the Italian university of Bologna. He was arrested in Cairo Airport when returning to Egypt for a visit, forcibly disappeared, before appearing at the Mansoura public prosecution office and accused of inciting against al-Sisi’s regime in Egypt. Samuel Tharwat, Zaky’s lawyer, said that Zaky was beaten and subjected to electric shock after his arrest. The attorney general’s statement said that Zaky exploited his Facebook account to publish false news and statements to spread rumours and incite against state institutions, and accordingly, the public prosecution issued an order to arrest him and to inspect his house.

National Security presented to the public prosecutor 10 printed screenshots from Patrick’s Facebook account, which contained leaflets of “inflammatory” (so-called by the statement) material. Europe has denounced Zaky’s arrest and raised concerns about the researcher’s fate in the light of the case of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni who was killed in Egypt and tortured to death by Egyptian security.