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University of Washington PhD student, missing for 4 days, brought before prosecution and detained

PhD student and researcher Walid al-Shobaky, who has been missing for four days, was brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution on Sunday and handed a 15-day detention order, according to lawyer Mokhtar Mounir.

A student at the University of Washington, Shobaky was last seen on Wednesday and has been accused of spreading false news and joining a terrorist group in Case 441/2018 said Mounir, who works at Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression. The lawyer added that Shobaky was brought before the prosecution without a lawyer.

Nour Farahat, a professor of law at Zagazig University, wrote on his Facebook account two days ago that he had received a call from Shobaky’s family, informing him of the researcher’s disappearance.

According to Farahat’s post, Shobaky met the law professor in his office on Wednesday, May 25, and they spoke briefly about the cultural context of the establishment of Egypt’s judicial system. “The researcher told me that he had met with a number of prominent law and judiciary experts in Egypt, before coming to me for help with his research. Today his brother messaged me on Facebook, saying that he cannot be reached.”

The case in which Shobaky has been implicated also includes blogger Wael Abbas, who was arrested from his home during a dawn raid on May 24, and handed a detention order by the Supreme State Security Prosecution the following day. Journalists Mostafa al-Asar and Hassan al-Banna are also included in Case 441/2018, alongside lawyer and head of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms Ezzat Ghoneim. Fatemah Mohamed, her husband Abdallah Moddar and her brother Omar Moussa, who were disappeared in late March alongside Mohamed’s infant daughter and brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, are also involved in the case. Defendants face charges of spreading false news and joining a terrorist group.

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