Egypt | Activist Rami Shaath released after two and a half years of detention

(Cairo) The Egyptian-Palestinian political activist Ramy Shaath, who has been detained in Egypt for more than two years, has been released, a judicial source told AFP today, Monday.

The 48-year-old, one of the symbols of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and the coordinator in Egypt of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, had been in detention since July 2019 for wanting to foment “unrest against the state”. The BDS movement calls for a boycott of Israel in its fight against the occupation of Palestinian lands.

His French wife, CĂ©line Lebrun, had been deported to Paris at the time of her arrest.

“The Public Prosecution released Rami Shaath on Monday evening,” the judicial source told AFP, without giving further details.

“I have heard about the decision, but as far as I know it has not yet been made. We will make a statement when he is abroad and on the plane,” his wife told AFP.

In December, five human rights organizations questioned French President Emmanuel Macron about the fate of this activist, the son of Palestinian political leader Nabil Shaath.

A year ago, during a visit to Paris by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on December 7, 2020, Mr. Macron said he had spoken with him about “individual cases”, including that of Ramy Shaath.

State Department spokeswoman Anne Claire Legendre said last month that Mr. Shaath’s situation was “closely monitored and discussed regularly, including at the highest levels.”

Another Egyptian human rights activist, researcher Patrick Zaki, was released in December after 22 months in detention, but he still faces up to 5 years in prison for “false information” over an article denouncing discrimination against Christians.

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According to NGOs, there are more than 60,000 prisoners of conscience in Egypt. The US believes the country is violating human rights across the board and has frozen 10% of its aid as a result.

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