December 14, 2020
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2391 1441
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 Dr. Ahmed Al Tohamy Abdel-Hay, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Economic Studies and Political Science at Alexandria University who stands accused of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and statements, and misusing social media. He was arrested on June 3 and held incommunicado for almost a month before being brought to the Supreme State Security Prosecution and charged with these offenses.
We are extremely disturbed both by these charges, which are regularly used to unjustly criminalize free expression, and by the nature of his ongoing detention, during which he has not had access to an attorney and for the first four months of which he was not allowed to see his family. His pretrial detention is characterized as “provisional”, but in practice it has become “indefinite”, as it continues to be renewed.
We understand that questions during his interrogation have focused on a lawsuit currently being litigated in the United States, in which Muhammad Sultan, an Egyptian-American, is suing former interim Prime Minister Hazem Abdel Aziz El Beblawi for abuses the former suffered while jailed in Egypt during the years 2013-2014.
No one should be jailed or prosecuted for the free expression of their beliefs or opinions, and no one should be charged with a crime because of an alleged connection to a lawsuit that seeks accountability for your government’s use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment of prisoners. We are concerned that Dr. Abdel-Hey, who published a book on youth activism in Egypt in 2016, may also be facing these charges because of his political science scholarship.
We urge you have charges dropped against Dr. Ahmed Al Tohamy Abdel-Hay, and that he be released immediately and unconditionally and allowed to resume his important academic work without further interference.
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
Chancellor Hamada El-Sawy
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Fax: 202 2577 4716
Prime Solicitor-General Khaled Diauddin
Supreme State Security Prosecution in the Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2638 1956
Ahmed Ihab Gamal-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