29-year-old researcher and anthropology student Ahmed Samir Santawy, was arrested on 1 February and disappeared for 5 days, whilst police officers beat him and kept him blindfolded. 

Ahmed is a master’s student, whose research focuses on women's rights, including the history of reproductive rights in Egypt. The accusations against him are based solely on a Facebook post deemed critical of the authorities (which he denies authoring) and a secret police investigation which he and his lawyers are not allowed to review. 

In recent years, thousands of real or perceived political opponents have been arrested and kept in prolonged pre-trial detention in Egypt, pending investigations into unfounded terrorism-related and other charges. Those targeted include human rights defenders, activists, lawyers, politicians, protesters, journalists, medical workers and academics.

Ahmed has been denied contact with lawyers and his family, and there are serious concerns about his wellbeing and health amid COVID-19 outbreaks in Egypt’s prisons.

Amnesty International considers Ahmed a prisoner of conscience, detained because of his academic interests and research focusing on gender and religion. 

Sign the petition calling on the Public Prosecutor to release Ahmed immediately.




Sign the Petition

  Our Petition
Public Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2577 4716
Dear Counsellor,
I am extremely concerned about the arbitrary detention of 29-year-old researcher and anthropology master's student Ahmed Samir Santawy, pending investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP).
Following his arrest on 1 February, Ahmed was subjected to enforced disappearance for 5 days before being brought in for questioning. During this time, police officers beat him and kept him blindfolded, while interrogating him about his social media engagement and his academic research and the Muslim Brotherhood. On 6 February, the Supreme State Security Prosecution questioned him about his academic work and ordered his detention pending investigations into terrorism-related charges. He has been denied contact with his family, raising concerns about his wellbeing and health amid COVID-19 outbreaks in Egypt’s prisons.
I ask that you immediately and unconditionally release Ahmed Samir Santawy and open a prompt, independent, impartial, and effective investigation into his allegations of being forcibly disappeared and beaten. Pending his release, he must be granted immediate and regular access to his family and lawyers, provided with adequate health care and protected from torture and ill-treatment. 


Add Your Voice