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1st June 2021, 12:22:15 UTC

Ahmed Samir Santawy is a researcher and master’s student.

Update: On 4 July 2022, a Misdemeanours Emergency State Security Court (ESSC) convicted Egyptian researcher Ahmed Samir Santawy of spreading “false news” and sentenced him to three years’ imprisonment. His conviction is based solely on social media posts criticizing human rights violations in Egypt and the state’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. Verdicts by ESSCs cannot be appealed.

Ahmed Samir Santawy is a prisoner of conscience, who has been arbitrarily detained since February 2021, and he should be immediately and unconditionally released.

He was arrested on 1 February when he was visiting his family in Egypt.

Following his arrest Ahmed Samir Santawy was subjected to enforced disappearance for five days.

During this time, security forces beat him and kept him blindfolded, while interrogating him about his social media engagement and academic research. On 6 February, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered his detention pending investigations into terrorism-related charges.

Ahmed Samir is a student at the Central European University (CEU) in Vienna. There he studies sociology and anthropology. For his master’s thesis, Ahmed is conducting research on sexual and reproductive rights in Egypt. He should have graduated in June 2021 and wants to marry his girlfriend Souheila. They would like to build a life together in Ghent, Belgium.

He must be immediately and unconditionally released.

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