Ahmed Samir Santawy a young Egyptian student and human rights researcher recently taken into custody by the police in the capital city of Cairo has disappeared, in what seems to be yet another attempt by the authorities to intimidate people like him into silence.
Ahmed was detained by Egyptian national security forces after being called in for interrogation on February 1, according to the Association of the Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
The Egyptian authorities have cut down all communications with Santawy and shut down requests by his lawyer to meet him and provide him with legal assistance have also been shut down.
A student in Sociology and Social Anthropology at Central European University (CEU) in Austria, Ahmed was arrested while spending the winter holidays with his family back home.
The Egyptian security forces had stopped and interrogated Santawy upon his arrival at Sharm El Sheikh International Airport weeks before but did not arrest him then.
However, they proceeded to raid his family home in Cairo on January 23, when he was on a trip to Dahab, South Sinai. The security agents back then confiscated the home’s CCTV video footage and said they were awaiting Ahmed at the police station in the New Cairo neighborhood of the First Settlement.
Ahmed paid a visit to the station on January 30 and went back on February 1 for a second meeting as instructed by the police. He has gone missing since then.
In its statement, AFTE condemned Santawy’s arrest, which it described as part of “the pattern of intimidation and arrests faced by researchers, violating their rights and disrupting their studies.”