12 October 2016

Egypt: Alkarama Reports 4 More Cases of Disappearances, Including 2 Young Students, to the UN

On 12 October 2016, Alkarama alerted the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID) of several cases of disappearances in Egypt, concerning two young students, Ahmed Abdelrahim Hanafi Abdelrahim and Ahmed Atef Ahmed Abdelrahim Al Baghdadi, who recently went missing, as well as two men, Mohamed Gomaa Youssef Afifi and Abdelrahim Mahmoud Abd Annabi Alsayed, who have been disappeared for 10 months and two years respectively.

The most recent case concerns Ahmed Abdelrahim Hanafi Abdelrahim, a 21-year-old student who disappeared on 7 September 2016 between Al Wardian and Sidi Gaber, in Alexandria, while going to work. The abduction was carried out by the Homeland security services and his whereabouts remain unknown, despite his family's numerous inquiries with the authorities. Ahmed Atef Ahmed Abdelrahim Al Baghdadi, an 18-year-old student from Sohag, studying and working in Cairo, was also abducted by members of the Homeland security in Tagamo El Awwal, New Cairo, on 30 August 2016 in front of his work place. Despite efforts to try to locate him by his relatives, his location and whereabouts remain also unknown. In both cases, the Egyptian authorities have been denying their involvement in the abduction and have so far refused to provide any information.

Mohamed Gomaa Youssef Afifi, an Egyptian citizen residing in Ain Shams, was abducted from his home on 27 December 2015, by police and military forces, who arrested and ill-treated him in front of his family members. He has gone missing ever since. Despite accounts of him being detained at the Homeland Security facility of Lazoghli in Cairo – where torture is common – the Egyptian authorities have denied any responsibility in his abduction. Similarly, Abdelrahim Mahmoud Abd Annabi Alsayed disappeared on 10 September 2014 in El Khanka, Al Qalyubia Governorate, while coming back home from work. His abduction was carried out by Homeland security forces during a raid in the area – during which other individuals were also abducted – and he is believed of being held at the Security of Banha, Al Qalyubia Governorate. The Egyptian authorities have however so far failed to provide any official information on his fate and whereabouts.

These cases are only the tip of the iceberg and are illustrative of a recurrent practice of enforced disappearances at the hands of State officials that has been recently increasing.

"Enforced disappearances of individuals in Egypt are on the rise, particularly after the 2013 military takeover," said Rachid Mesli, Alkarama's Legal Director, who added that "the human rights situation is way worse today than it was during Mubarak's rule: while this was not a major concern in Egypt in the past, lately enforced disappearances do constitute a systematic practice."

For these reasons, Alkarama has again solicited the WGEID to promptly intervene with the Egyptian authorities requesting clarification of the fate and whereabouts of these individuals. This follows other recent cases reported by Alkarama, such as the ones concerning Ahmed Mabrouk and Abdelrahman Gamal Mohamed Ahmed, two young students who were recently abducted, and the one of the lawyer Mohamed Sadeq Ahmed. Furthermore, in April 2016 Alkarama had sent a general allegation to the WGEID to raise its concern over the systematic character of this practice.

Alkarama thus urges the Egyptian authorities to release all individuals secretly detained and to place them under the protection of the law, and secondly calls on them to immediately halt this systematic practice that constitutes a crime against humanity; and to urgently open prompt, independent and impartial investigations into every report of enforced disappearance, while prosecuting and punishing its authors accordingly.

For more information or an interview, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Tel: +41 22 734 1008).


Egypt - HR Instruments

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

ICCPR: Ratified on 14.01.1982
Optional Protocol: No

State report: Overdue since 01.11.2004 (4th)
Last concluding observations: 28.11.2002

Convention against Torture (CAT)

CAT: Accessed on 25.06.1986
Optional Protocol: No
Art. 20 (Confidential inquiry): Yes
Art. 22 (Individual communications): No

State report: Due on 25.06.2016 (initially due in 2004)
Last concluding observations: 23.12.2002

International Convention for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CED)


Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

Last review: 02.2010 (1st cycle)
Next review: 2014 (2nd cycle)

National Human Rights Institution (NHRI)

National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) – Status A

Last review: 10.2006
Next review: Deferred