Egypt Frees Activist Ramy Shaath After Renounced Citizenship

Shaath’s detention came amid continued crackdowns on the political opposition under Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Egyptian authorities released Egyptian-Palestinian human rights activist Ramy Shaath after more than 900 days in detention after forcing her to renounce her Egyptian citizenship.

Shaath, a member of several secular political groups in Egypt and one of the founders of Egypt’s pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement, was released and handed over to a representative on Thursday evening, a family statement said on Saturday. Palestinian Authority in Cairo before flying to Jordan.

He’s going to France now, he added.

His French wife, Celine Lebrun Shaath, who was expelled from Egypt following Shaath’s arrest, lobbied the French government to pressure Egypt to release her.

There was no immediate comment from Egyptian authorities on his release.

“If we are glad that the Egyptian authorities have heard our call for freedom, we regret that they forced Ramy to renounce his Egyptian citizenship as a precondition for his release, which should have been unconditional,” the family said in a statement.

Shaath was arrested in Egypt in June 2019 and held in pre-trial detention along with other activists on charges of aiding a “terrorist” group.

His detention came amid continued crackdown on the political opposition, which has swept liberal critics of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and members of the Muslim Brotherhood that led the impeachment of al-Sisi in 2013.

El-Sisi and his supporters have said there are no political prisoners in Egypt and that security measures are necessary to stabilize the country after the 2011 uprising.

In a statement last month, several NGOs questioned President Emmanuel Macron about Shaath’s fate, a year after the French leader said he had filed his case with al-Sisi.

But at that time, Macron made it clear that human rights would not be a condition for economic and military relations with Cairo.

France said it would deliver 30 Rafale fighter jets to Egypt from 2024, in a 4 billion-euro ($4.8 billion) deal in May, as it strengthens its military partnership with Cairo.

Originally posted 2022-01-09 01:00:58.