October 24rd 2019
UN WGAD Calls for Dr Essam and Gehad’s Immediate Release
Over 6 months ago, Professor Juan Mendez, the former UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and the team at the Center for Human Rights and the Anti-Torture Program at the University of Washington submitted a complaint to the UN Working Group of Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Dr. Essam El-Haddad and Gehad El-Haddad.
Last week, the UN WGAD issued its decision after months of investigation. They concluded that the detention of Dr. Essam and Gehad is arbitrary and in violation of international law. They also stated that Egypt is in violation of international human rights obligations but specifically that Dr. Essam and Gehad’s detention may constitute crimes against humanity. The UN WGAD has issued the following in its report:
- It has determined Dr. Essam and Gehad’s detention is arbitrary by international law and in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- It has called for Dr. Essam and Gehad’s immediate release
- It has called for compensation and reparations
- It has called for an investigation and measures taken against those involved
- It has instructed referral to the special rapporteur on torture
Read the UN WGAD Opinion.
Despite Gehad’s acquittal of all charges on September 11 2019 he still remains in solitary confinement. Even worse, on September 27, 2019 he was informed that he was under investigation and would remain under pretrial detention. On his first 15 day renewal, his lawyers appealed the detention and the courts ordered his immediate release requiring the family to pay bail for his release.
Shockingly, on October 21, 2019 the state security prosecutor informed Gehad that he was going to be charged in a new case and would remain detained.
The family condemns the authorities obstruction of justice and unlawful attempt to keep Gehad detained despite a 6 year trial that has resulted in his full acquittal. The family is very concerned about Dr Essam and Gehad’s arbitrary detention and calls for their immediate release.
Read the following New York Times article on Dr Essam and Gehad.
For more information: