Egypt Watch

DAWN: Egyptian ex-attorney general participated in repressing peaceful activism

On Sunday, Democracy for the Arab World Now said that the Egyptian ex-attorney general, Nabil Ahmed Tawfik Sadek, is responsible for the illegal pursuit of thousands of Egyptians for peaceful activities protected by international law.

DAWN added, in a report, that during his mandate, Sadek ordered prosecutors to detain journalists, political opponents, intellectuals, and human rights defenders in limitless, unlawful pretrial detention, on baseless charges of threatening security, including terrorism, for articles criticising the government, interviews or social media posts. “As the country’s top prosecutor, Sadek acted as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s henchman, using a facade of law to silence opponents,” DAWN’s research director Sari Bashi said. “We hope that exposing his personal responsibility for crimes against the people of Egypt is a first step for holding him accountable.”

The report pointed out the engagement of the Egyptian prosecution in wide-scale violations of the right to fair trial, enforced disappearance, torture, arbitrary detention, life-threatening detention conditions and freedom of expression, assembly and association, according to what was documented in the US Department of State’s report in 2019. As the attorney general, Sadek holds full responsibility for the public prosecution affairs, including the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which is assigned to targeting political and human rights activists.

Over his tenure, Sadek ordered the public prosecutor to monitor social media within a crackdown launched by the Egyptian authorities against social media users, who express their opinions on the government. Because Sadek headed Egyptian judicial delegations to represent Egypt in international events, DAWN called on international organisations to avoid Sadek’s participation in such events, which should be free of human rights violators like him. Sadek assumed office as the attorney general of Egypt, from September 2015 and September 2019, and he works now as a judge in the court of cassation.