Egypt Watch

The funeral ceremony of Safwan Thabet’s Wife cancelled under police pressure

Maryam Safwan Thabet, the daughter of the well-known businessman Safwan Thabet, the founder of Juhayna company the biggest bottled milk and juices producer in Egypt and its chairman. Maryam announced that the funeral ceremony of her mother, Bahira El-Shawy, which was decided to be held in the Police Officers’ Mosque in El-Shaikh Zaied on Sunday night, has been cancelled for circumstances beyond the family’s control, in her words. On the other hand, two lawyers who attended the burial yesterday stated that the reason beyond the cancellation is security pressures practiced against the family to cancel it which may show the big empathy with the family especially since the burial witnessed the presence of many of the state officials and public figures.  

Bahira El-Shawy has died yesterday after a long struggle with cancer, Her burial took place in the presence of her husband and son, who have been in pretrial detention for more than a year pending investigations. Their attendance came after the acceptance of the Ministry of Interior at the request of the National Council for Human Rights. While Safwan and Seif were imprisoned, the authorities only allowed them to visit her once in the hospital a week ago, and it took five minutes while she was in a coma, after her health deteriorated, and all attempts to release them for her care failed.

Two weeks ago, Maryam demanded the release of her father and brother, considering the deterioration of his mother’s health as she was transferred for the second time to the intensive care unit within 10 days and has been in the hospital for eight weeks. Maryam also announced that she submitted an official request to the Public Prosecutor, Hamada El-Sawy, after failing to meet him. In her request, she explained her mother’s deteriorating health condition and requested the release of her father and brother, who have been imprisoned for more than a year on charges of financing terrorism and participating in a group established in violation of the law.

According to sources close to Safwan’s family, Maryam addressed the National Council for Human Rights, through the council member and the head of the Reform and Development Party, Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat, who promised her to intervene, but the family has not received any response of approval or rejection. Last October, the Egyptian Public Prosecution has decided to include Bahira El-Shawy in a new case, alleging that she had spread and broadcasted false news that may stir up the public opinion and participating with a terrorist group to achieve its goals based on an investigation warrant prepared by the National Security against her. This came days after she posted a video on her Facebook account in which she appealed to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to look into the case of her husband and son. In this video, she wondered saying: “my son is locked in a cell in the most highly guarded prison in Egypt, under the ground, he isn’t allowed to get out of his cell, he can’t get out into the sun for what reason?

El-Shawy was subjected to a lengthy investigation that took more than eight hours before the Supreme State Security Prosecution before a decision was issued to release her in return for a bill of 5,000 pounds.