Dr. Essam El-Haddad was the foreign relations advisor to former President Mohamed Morsi. He disappeared on July 3, 2013, on the night of the military coup overseen by General Sisi.
His son, Gehad El-Haddad, was a well-known civil society activist, youth revolutionary, and a political activist in Egypt’s 2011 uprising against Hosni Mubarak. He was a member of the Freedom and Justice Party and the Muslim Brotherhood. After the coup, Gehad acted as the spokesperson for the Muslim Brotherhood during the Rabaa protest sit-ins. On September 13, 2013, Gehad was arrested by Egyptian authorities.
Both Gehad and his father Dr. Essam have been moved between prisons. Currently, Gehad is detained in the solitary confinement maximum security wing called El-Aqrab, or the Scorpion, in Tora Prison in solitary confinement. Dr. Essam is currently being held in a hospital. They both suffer from severe medical conditions as a result of their imprisonment. Dr. Essam and Gehad have been on a hunger strike several times.
Their ongoing imprisonment is in violation of international law for the following reasons. Each have been:
- Arrested without a warrant;
- Held incommunicado;
- Detained without charge for an excessive period of time;
- Denied access to legal counsel;
- Denied visits from family; and
- Subjected to torture, or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, including denial
of necessary medical care and solitary confinement.
The Egyptian Court of Cassation has overturned all of both Dr. Essam and Gehad’s charges. They have been kept in solitary confinement as they wait for their new trials.