Rights group Amnesty International has called for an ‘Urgent Action’ appeal to pressure Egyptian authorities into revealing the whereabouts of former President Mohamed Morsi’s aides after three were reported to have been transferred to Tora prison on Wednesday.
Amnesty said in a Thursday statement that Khaled al-Qazzaz, Ayman al-Serafy, and Abdelmeguid al-Meshaly had been transferred to an unknown location according to al-Qazzaz’s wife. “The men’s families were not told where they had been taken, or why,” said Amnesty. Citing unconfirmed information given to the families, the rights group believes the three men are being held in Tora prison.
The statement also pointed out that two of Morsi’s other former aides, Essam al-Haddad and Ayman Ali, are “still held incommunicado.”
“The five men’s families have tried to appoint lawyers to represent them, but have been denied this right,” said Amnesty, adding that it has received information from lawyers that the Ministry of Justice ordered that al-Haddad have no lawyer to represent him.
Reports circulated on Wednesday suggested that al-Qazzaz, al-Serafy and al-Meshaly had been arrested at an apartment in Heliopolis. In early December, the Ministry of Interior spokesman Hany Abdel Latif told Daily News Egypt that all of Morsi’s aides were being held in Tora prison.
Amnesty has asked for people around the world to write letters containing a list of demands to interim President Adly Mansour, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat and Minister of Defence Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The demands include disclosing the location of Morsi’s aides, allowing them access to their families and lawyers, and to formally charge them or order their release and protect detainees from torture or mistreatment.
The Ministry of Interior, the Prosecutor General’s office and the Ministry of Justice were unavailable for comment on Thursday.