Human Rights Monitor submitted an urgent Appeal to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention regarding the arrest and detention of one Hassan Mahmoud Ragab Qabany a 31 year old journalist and a member of the Press Syndicate. Qabany was arrested from his home in 6th October on January, 22nd 2015 after security forces in uniform stormed his house destroying its contents without prior permission from the prosecuting office. Forces arrested his brother in law also failing to produce warrants for both their arrests.
The following day Qabany's family sent a telegraph to the prosecutor general demanding to know their sons's whereabouts since they were not informed where he would be taken. He was also prevented from contacting both his family and lawyer and was completely isolated from the outside world for three days.
Furthermore security forces tortured Qabany during his detention at state's security's headquarters in 6th October before being brought before prosecution.
He was beaten and electrocuted on different parts of his body in an effort to force him to confess to crimes he did not commit. Despite evidence of torture investigators failed to document the incident and a request by his lawyer for forensics to investigate the torture incident were ignored. He was also denied help or treatment for the wounds received while he was being tortured.
Authorities released his brother in law the next day however Qabany remains detained to date pending investigations.
On January 24, authorities interrogated Qabany at security's quarters and this was the first time his family was able to see him since his arrest as he was previously denied visiting rights.
The prosecuting office charged him with conspiring with foreign countries against Egypt. He was also accused of attempting to forcefully change the constitution and its republican status and affiliation with outlawed groups and spreading and circulating rumours in an effort to cause civil unrest. He was given a 15 day detention pending investigation in case number 718 for 2015 and was transferred to the Aqrab High Security Prison.
The same day he was questioned forces arrested his wife detaining her for two hours confiscating her ID without reason and charges.
It is worth noting that this is Qabany's second arrest where he was arrested 2 days before the 4th anniversary of the January 25 revolution, he was however released a few hours later.
HRM condemns the brutal assaults against journalists simply for performing their duty of transferring the truth and expressing their opinion describing it as a complete violation and oppression of freedom. To date 13 journalists have been killed by security and military forces for doing their job and 103 others have been arrested and continue to be arbitrarily detained.
HRM urges the immediate release of Qabany and medical treatment for his injuries caused as a result of torture, be provided.
Moreover it stresses the significance of respecting freedom of political and civil expression and opinion as agreed upon by the international convention ratified by Egypt but ignored by its authorities which continues to violate the rights of civilians rather than protect them.