Egypt Watch

HRW: Egypt’s judiciary is complicit in suppressing dissidents

Human Rights Watch has said that Egyptian judges and prosecutors are complicit with the authorities in cracking down on activists through revolving detention.

The organisation stated, in a report, that the Egyptian authorities ignore the orders to release detainees and have expanded the use of the revolving door policy for pretrial detention. The report referred to the case of Walid Shawky, a dentist and activist in Egypt, who spent nearly two years in pretrial detention on arbitrary charges such as joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media, without trial.

The human rights organisation indicated that the detainees must routinely wait for the State Security Agency’s extra-legal approval to release them, which sometimes takes two weeks. Many of them were detained again during this period. The organisation added that Shawky is still detained until today, despite the conditional release decision issued against him last August, pointing out that the prosecution added him to a new case with dozens of defendants. Shawky has now returned to Tora Prison.

The organisation said that this practice of rotating detainees is the security services’ method of imprisoning dissidents indefinitely, citing the complicity of judges and members of the Public Prosecution Office.