Egypt: Freedom For Patrick George
On 7 February 2020, the human rights defender came to Egypt for the first time since commencing his university studies in Italy in August 2019. He was stopped at Cairo airport upon his arrival.
He was then taken into custody by the National Security Investigation and his whereabouts remained unknown for 24 hours. It was later revealed that he had been transferred from the airport to a national security facility in Cairo. Patrick George was then interrogated for several hours without the presence of his lawyer. During the interrogation, the human rights defender was subjected to physical abuse and was tortured by electric shocks. On the next day, he was presented before the public prosecutor of Mansoura who ordered his detention on remand for 15 days, pending further investigation.
His commitment to justice and equality drove him to switch his career to human rights upon graduating in June 2014, where he quickly became an activist and defender in the Egyptian human rights movement. Even with the arrival of Al-Sisi’s brutal regime that silenced countless voices, Patrick’s was not one of them. With unwavering determination and persistence, Patrick has been bravely fighting for the people’s political freedom of expression in a nation ruled by a military dictatorship, ruthless in suppressing any opposition.
Patrick and the defense of minority rights
Patrick George is a human rights defender and researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). He advocates for women’s rights, as well as the rights of vulnerable groups in Egypt, including the LGBT+ community and the Christian minority. He has also worked on the rights of detainees and has been involved in several campaigns concerning the violations of civil and political rights in Egypt.
Since his detention, no family visits have been allowed, and he has had very limited access to legal counsel. He is currently detained at Mansoura police station.
The police issued a statement stating that the detention of Patrick George is based on an arrest warrant issued against him in September 2019. The human rights defender is facing the charges of ‘spreading false news’, ‘incitement to protest without authorization’, ‘incitement to violence and terrorism; and ‘calling for the overthrow of the state’.