Rights lawyer Malek Adly and activist Zizo Abdo exhibit signs of abuse after arrest

Human rights lawyer Malek Adly and April 6 Youth Movement member Zizo Abdo, who were arrested on Thursday night in Maadi, appear to have been assaulted while in police custody.

Adly’s lawyer Sameh Samir told Mada Masr that the lawyer was arrested while traveling to Maadi to meet Abdo, who is his client.

Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights lawyer Mahmoud Bilal stated that a police officer took Adly’s belongings during his arrest, including his mobile phone, identity papers and keys. While detained, Adly’s Facebook account was deleted.

Bilal and Samir have both told Mada Masr that the two men were likely assaulted by police following their arrest. Bruising was clearly visible on Abdo’s face, according to Samir who discovered the April 6 Youth Movement activist by chance in the Maadi Police Station. Samir states that prosecution had previously denied that Abdo was being held at the location.

Upon his arrest, Adly was ordered at gunpoint to remove his shirt. He was then subject to a medical examination that was documented on film. Samir criticized the practice as a medical examination is not permissible without an order from the prosecution.  

Abdo and Adly were interrogated for more than four hours with Adly being questioned on subjects unrelated to the charges against him, according to Bilal. Police asked for the rights lawyer’s opinion on the death of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni, property taxes and last October’s downing of a Russian commercial plane. Further, the prosecution refused to allow Adly and Abdo’s lawyers to meet with their clients individually.

Adly has been charged with a number of offenses, including assaulting an arresting officer, plotting to overthrow the government and alter the Egyptian Constitution, hindering the official duties of government institutions, promoting publications that disrupt national unity, disseminating false news and inciting the anti-government protests that took place on April 25. The public prosecutor has ordered he be detained for 15 days pending investigations.

The charges against Abdo remain unclear. On Friday, the Freedom for the Brave campaign reported that he was transported from the Giza Police Station to the South Giza public prosecutor’s office.

The public prosecutor issued a warrant for Adly’s arrest following the April 25 anti-government protests. Adly was one of the lawyers who filed a lawsuit contesting the sovereign transfer of Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia, claiming that it was unconstitutional.

Over 1,000 people gathered in front of the Journalists Syndicate on April 15 to participate in anti-government demonstrations prompted by the transfer of the two Red Sea islands. Protesters called for additional demonstrations on April 25. However, in the days leading up to the planned protests, police began a series of nighttime raids, arresting activists and lawyers from cafes and public residencies. The Front to Defend Egyptian Protesters published a report documenting over 1,000 arrests between April 15 and April 27.


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