Egyptian court rejects appeal of 'tortured' activist Patrick George Zaki
Johannesburg - Detained researcher Patrick George Zaki, who was allegedly tortured and ill-treated by Egyptian authorities, will again appear in court later this week after his appeal was rejected by the Mansoura II Misdemeanours Appeals Court on Saturday.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) has demanded the immediate release of Zaki, without pressing charges, and has also called for an investigation into his alleged torture and ill-treatment.
The 27-year-old, who had been on leave from EIPR since last August to pursue studies in Italy, was arrested on February 7 after he landed in Cairo's international airport for a visit to see his family.
In a statement issued by the organisation, it said Zaki would be detained until February 22, whereupon he would again come before a court.
Zaki, who was allegedly involved with social activism many years ago, was arrested as part of Egypt’s ongoing crackdown on dissent. He allegedly called for protests against the government and "spread fake news".
“Patrick’s lawyers today argued for his release on the basis of the procedural impropriety of his arrest and detention, recalling that he was stopped in Cairo Airport on February 7 and illegally detained in a National Security facility and only appeared before a prosecutor late in the afternoon of February 8.”
“He was not taken to the relevant prosecutor considering his place of arrest (Cairo Airport) but was moved to Mansoura and appeared before the Mansoura II prosecution office, where he was presented with a police report that falsely refers to his arrest in a checkpoint in Mansoura,” said the statement.
His lawyers requested his release on account of procedural irregularities, lack of evidence, because he has a verified address and would be unable to tamper with case evidence, if there was any.African News Agency