Walid Salem, an Egyptian Doctoral student, studying in the United States at the University of Washington, was in Egypt working on research for his degree when he was arrested in Cairo. He was charged with spreading false news and belonging to a terrorist group. His arrest occurred after interviewing a well-known college professor about judicial independence. It appears that he is being prosecuted for his scholarly activity. CCS has written the President of Egypt to express concern and request Walid’s immediate and unconditional release.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2391 1441
Dear President al-Sisi:
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to express our concern for our colleague Walid Salem, an Egyptian doctoral student currently studying at the University of Washington in the United States. The subject of his study is the Egyptian judicial system. On May 24, 2018, during a trip to Cairo, he was arrested and disappeared for four days. He has now been charged with “spreading false news” and “belonging to a terrorist group.”
His arrest apparently occurred after he interviewed a well-known law professor about judicial independence. As far as we can tell he is not represented by legal counsel, and his case (case number 441/2018) has been combined with several others, including activists and journalists, who are being prosecuted for exercising their rights to free expression.
It appears that Walid Salem is being prosecuted for his scholarly activity, which would be in violation of the responsibility of the Egyptian government to protect academic freedom and free expression. We urge you to check into this situation and have Walid freed immediately and unconditionally, and that he be allowed to continue his studies.
Thank you for your attention to this most serious matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Magdy Abdel Ghaffar
Minister of Interior
Fifth Settlement, New Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2794 5529 +2027927189
Email: email@example.com or E.HumanRightsSector@moi.gov.eg
Laila Bahaa Eldin
Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche el-Nile, Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2574 9713
Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of Egypt
3521 International Court, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Fax: 202 244 4319 or 202 244 5131
Phone: 202 895 5400