Reem Mohamed Desouky, a teacher in Pennsylvania, was arrested in Egypt for criticizing the Egyptian government on social media. It is unclear if charges have been filed, but she is currently being detained in prison. CCS is writing the President of the United States requesting his involvement in freeing a U.S. citizen.
January 9, 2020
President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
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 Reem Mohamed Desouky, a U.S. citizen held under unjust circumstances in Egypt. We urge you to use your authority to negotiate her release and safe return to the United States. You have been able to effectively negotiate the release of U.S. detainees in several countries and we are very hopeful that you can do so for Reem.
Reem Mohamed Desouky, a teacher from Pennsylvania, was arrested in Egypt in July 2019 while visiting her family, for criticizing the Egyptian government on Facebook. This act is clearly a peaceful exercise of her basic right to free speech – a fundamental right guaranteed to all U.S. citizens. It is not a crime, and it is important for the United States to defend its citizens when they chose to exercise their basic rights.
It is not clear what, if any, specific charges have been filed against Reem Mohamed Desouky, but reportedly Reem’s brother, Nour Desouky, has also been detained after visiting her and seeking to get her legal representation. It is also not clear if Egypt has allowed U.S. Consular officials, to visit her, as international law requires.
We urge you to use your authority and arrange for Reem Mohamed Desouky to be released immediately and unconditionally. She should be allowed to visit her family in Egypt without harassment, and she should be allowed to return to the United States to resume her teaching career in Pennsylvania whenever she chooses.
Thank you for your consideration of this most serious matter.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ambassador Jonathan R. Cohen
U.S. Embassy Cairo
5 Tawfik Diab Street
Garden City, Cairo
Telephone: (20-2) 2797 3300
Fax: (20-2) 2797 3200