ICJ denounces Egypt’s large-scale use of enforced disappearances to silence any kind of opposition (UN Statement)

Blurred waving flag of Egypt behind barbed wire fence. 3D rendering (Shutter Stock/Novikov Aleksey)

The ICJ denounced today Egypt’s use of enforced disappearances in the occasion of the interactive dialogue with the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances.

The statement could not be delivered due to the limited time afforded to civil society.

It reads as follows:

“Mr President,

The ICJ welcomes the WGEID’s report. The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders recently pointed out that, since May 2020, Egypt has received more communications from the WGEID than any other country. It is nowadays common practice for people arbitrarily detained to be forcibly disappeared for days upon their arrest. Egypt’s failure to criminalize enforced disappearances in domestic legislation encourages perpetrators.

In a week’s time, it will be the fourth anniversary of former parliamentarian Mostafa Al-Naggar’s enforced disappearance. On 5 March 2002, Ayman Hadhoud, an Egyptian economist, was forcibly disappeared and died in the custody of security forces. Egypt has so far failed to clarify Al-Naggar’s fate and whereabouts, and to effectively investigate Hadhoud’s enforced disappearance and potentially unlawful death. The impunity characterizing these two tragic cases is the rule for thousands of enforced disappearances documented in Egypt.

As the Egyptian government will host the COP27 this November, the ICJ expresses great concern over the widespread and sustained crackdown on human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and political opponents, and at reprisals against their families. Member States of this Council should not remain silent over Egypt’s systemic impunity for human rights violations. The ICJ calls on this Council to establish an independent monitoring mechanism to promote accountability for gross human rights violations in Egypt.

Thank you.”


Massimo Frigo, ICJ UN Representative, e: massimo.frigo(a)icj.org, t: +41797499949

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