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The New Arab

UAE, Egypt must reveal whereabouts of missing prisoner: HRW

Scores have been detained in the UAE for being critical of the authorities

Date of publication: 21 November, 2017

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An Egyptian detainee held in the UAE due to be released last month after serving his three year sentence is now missing after being deported to Egypt
Human Rights Watch has urged Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to reveal the whereabouts of an Egyptian detainee who was due to be released last month.

Mosaab Ahmed Abdel Aziz was arrested in 2014 in Abu Dhabi and sentenced to three years on charges of joining the Islah Party, a group affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. Both groups are banned in Egypt and the UAE.

Abdel Aziz was due to be released October 20, and his family were informed that he would be deported to Egypt and a flight ticket needed to be booked for him. When Abdel Aziz did not arrive, his family followed up with prison officials, and were told he had been deported to Egypt on November 7.

The international rights group said in a statement released on Tuesday that neither Egypt nor the UAE have responded to repeated requests from the family for information on their son.

"Abdel Aziz's vanishing potentially adds another layer to the absolute failure of justice in his case from his arrest, throughout his detention, and to his purported release," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Abuses, including serious allegations of torture, have marred every step of the process."

Since the ousting of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, the Egyptian security services have arrested tens of thousands of political dissidents.

UAE authorities have also arbitrarily detained and disappeared scores of people critical of the authorities.

"No government has the right to disappear someone," Whitson added. "Egypt and the UAE should immediately reveal Abdel Aziz's whereabouts, and whoever is holding him should allow him to return to his family unharmed."

Enforced disappearances are not new to Egypt. NGOs report three to four people disappearing a day, with enforced disappearance a key instrument of state policy. 

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