Written Question: Detention of Egyptian student Ahmed Samir Santawy

(Source: European Parliament)

Date submitted: 24 March 2021

Question for written answer E-001629/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Miguel Urbán Crespo (The Left)

Subject: Detention of Egyptian student Ahmed Samir Santawy

On 1 February, Ahmed Samir Santawy, an Egyptian student at the Central European University in Vienna, was detained in Cairo accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation and spreading fake news. He has been languishing in solitary confinement in deplorable conditions ever since.

The Ahmed Samir case is the latest in a series of human rights violations committed against students and researchers from European institutions, such as Patrick Zaki and Giulio Regeni, who were also arrested on trumped up charges and tortured. Additionally, according to international organisations, between 60 000 and 100 000 political prisoners are being held in Egypt, where arbitrary detentions, violence and police brutality are commonplace.

  1. Will the Commission publicly call for the immediate release of Ahmed Samir Santawy and, while he remains behind bars, will it urge the EU Delegation to visit him in prison and attend his hearings?
  2. As Parliament has demanded (2020/2912 (RSP), does it intend to carry out a thoroughgoing review of the EU’s relations with Egypt and ensure the Commission’s budget support operations are restricted to supporting civil society?
  3. Could it specify what cooperation, training and funding projects it is undertaking with the Egyptian security forces and say whether it intends to review them in light of this situation?
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