Mr. Mervyn adds, “We call once again for his (Kamil’s) immediate and unconditional release, and for the release of other human rights defenders who have been subjected to excessive pretrial detention on questionable charges.”
He further urges the Egyptian government to investigate all cases of wrongful imprisonment, and to create an enabling environment for the peaceful promotion and protection of human rights in the country.
Mr. Kamil is a prominent human rights activist and a founding member and coordinator of the Maspero Youth Union, a Coptic human rights group that emerged following the Maspero massacre of October 2011, in which over 20 Coptic protesters were killed when the military attacked a peaceful civil rights protest.
CSW first reported the arrest of Mr. Kamil on 26 November 2019 and explained that the police who arrested the Coptic activist refused to allow him to change his clothes, carry his medications or speak to a lawyer.
According to the leadership of the foundation that specializes in religious freedom all over the world, authorities also confiscated Mr. Kamil’s laptop, mobile phone, camera, and books.
Following his arrest, Mr. Kamil was taken to an unknown location, where he underwent intensive interrogation and was subjected to physical and psychological pressure, the leadership of CSW narrates, adding that the activist later appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) without legal representation, and was given 15 days in pre-trial detention.
Mr. Kamil was subsequently accused of joining a terrorist organization, receiving foreign funding, disturbing public order, inciting the public against the State, and using social media to incite sectarian tensions between Muslims and Christians.
According to the UK-based Christian organization, Mr. Kamil’s arrest came days after Egypt's human rights record was examined by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), where Egypt received the highest number of recommendations since their Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2010.
“In July 2018 Mr. Kamil accompanied the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Leilani Farha, on a fact-finding visit to Cairo and Minya to investigate the situation of members of the Coptic community who had been displaced from their homes following sectarian incidents,” CSW reported.
On 20 January 2020, CSW reported that Kamil’s detention had been extended by 15 days after he was interrogated in prison by prosecutors.