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Statement issued by the family of Ramy Nabeel Shaath in response to the decision to include his name on Egypt’s "terrorist list"

Wednesday 22 April 2020

We were shocked by the recent news circulated in Egyptian newspapers about the addition of our son, Ramy Nabeel Shaath onto the Egyptian “terrorism list”. Ramy is a dual-citizen of Egypt and Palestine who has been under detention in Egypt since July 2019. The consequences of this development include placing him under a travel ban, seizing his Egyptian passport and freezing his money and assets. After reviewing the decision published in the Official Gazette, we learned of a further development and that is the inclusion of Ramy in a new court case, No.517 of 2020.

At the time of this writing, neither we, as his family, nor his legal team have been given any information about this new case. Despite the fact that the legal defense team’s contact information is known to both the prosecution and the police, the team has not been asked to appear at any court, questioning or investigation proceedings, neither for the case he was falsely arrested for 9 months ago (known as the “Hope Case”), nor for the new case we have recently learned of. It is important to note that since Ramy’s arrest pending investigation, his detention has been extended periodically without due process. The prosecution has neither attributed any particular action to him nor have they presented any of the data or the alleged false news that they claim he has published.

According to prison regulations, Ramy should be granted two calls per month to his lawyers and at least four written correspondences with his family. And yet, Ramy has been denied any communication with both his lawyers and his family, especially given that in-person visitation has been banned due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the moment, we cannot know how Ramy is doing, but there are some things we know about him no matter the circumstances: Ramy is and has always been a proud Egyptian-Palestinian young man who has dedicated his life to defending his homelands Egypt and Palestine. In his pursuit for freedom, justice and equality, he has opposed Israeli occupation through his involvement in the Boycott movement (BDS). BDS is a peaceful campaign to pressure Israel to adhere to international laws and decision, and to push companies invovled in Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people to act with conscience instead of complacency.

Despite his unjust detention with no stated reason and the deportation of his wife, Ramy has continued to send messages to support the Palestinian cause and to remind us of the importance of perserverence in the struggle for the freedom of Palestine.

Here we must ask, how can he have allegedly committed a “terrorist act” while being held in Torah Prison for nine months without a charge or due court process? Is this the appropriate reward for a patriot defending the rights of our great Arab nation?

Based on all the aforementioned, we, the Shaath family, demand that the Egyptian authorities immediately release Ramy Shaath and remove him off of the “terrorim list” to which he has been unjustly and unfairly added. Ramy should be allowed to return to his family and to the service of his homelands Egypt and Palestine. We also demand that the Egyptian government allows his wife, Celine, to return to her home in Egypt and be reunited with her husband as soon as possible.

Who is Ramy Shaath?

- Ramy was born to Egyptian parents, Nabeel and Safaa. His late mother - may she rest in peace - was Safaa Hussein Zaitoun, born to a father from Berket El Sabaa and a mother from Edko in the Beheira governorate. His father Nabeel Shaath holds dual Egyptian-Palestinian citizenship since 1958 when the Syrian-Egyptian unification took place. This was confirmed by a decree by President Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1965. Nabeel Shaath worked with president Gamal Abdel Nasser, and was appointed as an assistant professor at the Higher National Institute of Management Development which reported directly to the late president Abdel Nasser.

- By the time of Ramy’s birth, both his parents held Egyptian citizenship and felt pride in being an Egyptian family. Ramy holds the citizenship and has all the necessary identification documents to prove it, confirmed by an Egyptian administrative court ruling. Ramy is also a proud Palestinian national; an Arab commited to the causes of his homelands and our great Arab nation and loyal to his father homelands Egypt and Palestine. Ramy has never been and will never become a terrorist.

- The Egyptian authorities arrested Ramy in July 2019 and put him into pre-trial detention pending investigation for the court case known as the “Hope Case” (No. 930 of 2019). Since then, he has been held in Tora Prison without due process or a fair trial, not to mention that his wife was forcibly deported from Egypt at the time of his arrest.

- Ramy’s family and legal team have contacted all the relevant authorities in Egypt to call for his release. Although several promises have been made to release him, none of these promises were kept. The United Nations Human Rights Committee and all international human rights organizations concerned with his arrest have -without exception- demanded his immediate release or granting him the right to a fair trial.

#FreeRamyShaath


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