Ahmed Samir Abdelhay Ali (29) is a Master’s student in Sociology and Social Anthropology at the Central European University (CEU) in Vienna. On February 1st 2021, he was detained by the Egyptian Security Forces after he was called into the Fifth Settlement Section Police Headquarters.
For five days, he was held without access to lawyers or his family. The police officially denied Ahmed was in custody and no contact was allowed.
On Feb 6th 2021, the State Security Prosecutor formally charged Ahmed with joining a terrorist organization, deliberately spreading false news and data, and use of a private account on the Internet to spread false news or data.
The prosecution has remanded him to pretrial detention in Case 65 of 2021. This detention has already been extended once without legal representation .
No details about the accusations have been specified. The charges are baseless.
Ahmed testified during the investigation with the SSSP (Supreme State Security Prosecution) that he was physically assaulted during interrogations with National Security Police. He alleged that he was severely beaten on his body and slapped on his face.
His academic work generally addresses women’s rights in Egypt with a focus on the history of reproductive rights. His main concern was protecting women’s reproductive rights and their access to legal and safe treatments in order to preserve their lives.
Ahmed’s case is the latest in a series of international students and researchers harassed, tortured, and falsely imprisoned by Egyptian authorities on trumped-up charges, including Patrick George Zaki, Walid al-Shobaky and Giulio Regeni.
Amnesty Austria has issued a petition asking for his immediate release.
So far, there were several other statements issued asking for his release, such as by Amnesty International, deeming him a Prisoner of Conscience, a shared statement from Egyptian Human Rights organisation And several others, Central European University, Amnesty MENA, Council for European Students, Egyptian Front for Human Rights, European Association of Social Anthropologists, American Anthropological Association, Forced Disappearance by the FORSEA, Europa Verdi, Austrian National Student Union, and AFTE have called for his release.
The case is still going on, with Ahmed’s family and friends hoping for his release.