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Christian Entity Lauds Release of Egyptian Researcher after 22 months in Detention

Credit: CSW

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), a UK-based human rights organization, has lauded the release of Patrick George Zaki who had been detained by Egyptian authorities since February 2020.

Mr. Zaki was released from prison on December 8 after spending 22 months in detention. The Human Right activist and student at an Italian University was arrested in Egypt's capital, Cairo, for allegedly “spreading fake news inside and outside Egypt”.

This was after he published the article, “Displacement, killing and oppression: The outcomes of a week of the daily life of Egyptian Copts” in which he describes his life as a Christian in the Northeastern African country.

In a Wednesday, December 15 report, CSW’s Founder President, Mervyn Thomas, says, “CSW welcomes the news that Mr. Zaki was able to return home after spending so long in pre-trial detention.”

“However, he still faces unfounded charges in State Security Court, where verdicts cannot be appealed,” Mr. Mervyn says

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A State Security Misdemeanour court in al Mansoura governorate ordered Mr. Zaki’s release pending trial after a hearing on December 7. The court also scheduled his next hearing for 1 February 2022.

In the December 15 report, Mr. Mervyn urges the court to drop all charges against Mr. Zaki. 

“We renew our call for the charges against Mr. Zaki to be dropped, and for the immediate and unconditional release of all those detained on similarly excessive charges for simply exercising their right to freedom of expression,” the CSW official says. 

In September, CSW officials called for Mr. Zaki’s “unconditional release.”

They further urged the Egyptian government “to allow all those working to defend and uphold human rights in the country to do so without harassment or intimidation.” 

More in Africa

Egypt has been in the limelight for violating the rights of human rights activists by unlawfully detaining them for long periods. 

In 2019, authorities in the Northeastern African nation raided Rami Kamil’s house in Cairo and arrested him. 

He was accused of joining a terrorist organization, disturbing public order, inciting the public against the State and using social media to stir up sectarian tensions between Muslims and Christians.

Mr. Kamil's detention has been renewed several times. 

In September, CSW Founder President described the extended detentions as "an effort to penalize him for his work as a human rights defender."

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