Monday, February 9, 2009

Philip Rizk - Incommunicado detention and fear of torture

Monday 9 February 2009

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately disclose the location of Philip Rizk, who was abducted by State Security Officials last Friday, and if no criminal allegation can be proved against him- to facilitate his immediate release.

FIDH is concerned by the blatant disregard for special legal and judicial procedures displayed by the Egyptian authorities in detaining Philip Rizk, who was part of a group of activists organizing a peaceful march in Qalyubia, north of Cairo, to raise awareness about the effects of the Israeli occupation in Gaza.

Eye-witnesses and fellow activists who were with Rizk at the time claim that the whole group was detained for interrogation on their way back to Cairo, but that only Rizk was abducted, with no formal charges, and taken away to an undisclosed location by state security officials in a vehicle with obscured license plates.

Rizk’s family have also been subject to subsequent harassment by fully armed as well as plain-clothed police officials who appeared at the family home at 1:30 am Monday, with no warrant, to search the premises for incriminating evidence against Philip.

State Security and other police officials seem to pay no attention to the legal standards required for any criminal procedure, which gives rise to serious concern for Rizk’s safety and well-being as well as the rights and protection for his family.

FIDH calls for the full disclosure of the reasons for Rizk’s arrest, his current location and the secured access of Rizk to legal assistance. The Egyptian authorities should also take the necessary measure to ensure that his psychological and physical integrity are safeguarded throughout these procedures.


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