Washington Post dedicates Christmas-day column to Americans jailed abroad

December 25, 2017 – …Take the cases of Mostafa Kassem and Ahmed Etiwy, two of the U.S. citizens held by Egypt. Both have been imprisoned since 2013 after being swept up in crackdowns against protests in which they did not participate. Kassem, a 52-year-old auto-parts dealer from New York, happened to be in Egypt on the day that security forces crushed a mass sit-in in Cairo’s Rabaa Square, killing hundreds. He was not there but was stopped at a security checkpoint two miles away; when police saw his U.S. passport, they beat him up and arrested him. Etiwy, a 27-year-old student also from New York, similarly was dropping off a relative at a bus station when police stormed a nearby mosque. He was surrounded by a mob who suspected him of being a journalist, then was turned over to security forces. Kassem has never been convicted of a crime, but Etiwy was sentenced in September to five years in prison. Praveen Madhiraju of the Washington-based group Pretrial Rights International said he and two other advocates had contacted officials at the White House and National Security Council a dozen times about the cases but received no response. A letter from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to Trump in August prompted no visible action. But an Irish citizen arrested in the same mosque crackdown that swept up Etiwy was freed in October after intensive lobbying by the Irish government. Read the rest of the story on the Washington Post’s... read more

Citizens Wrongfully Imprisoned in Egypt Sentenced

WASHINGTON (Monday, September 18, 2017) – Today, Freedom First, and Pretrial Rights International, both nonpartisan human rights groups based in Washington D.C., that aim to highlight the suffering of tens of thousands of prisoners in Egypt released the following statement regarding today’s hearing concerning the fate of two men who have been imprisoned in Egypt since 2013:

“We are heartbroken by the court’s verdict for Ahmed Etiwy,” said Praveen Madhiraju of Pretrial Rights. “He is a college student, convicted for protesting at a protest that he never attended. Having already served more than 80% of his sentence, he should be released immediately and pardoned. President Trump is meeting with President Sisi this week in New York. We urge him to put these Americans first. Not President Sisi.”

read more

PRI Assists Americans Imprisoned in Egypt – Verdict Days Out

A 27-year-old U.S. citizen who has spent more than four years in Egyptian custody on dramatic murder and terrorism charges is expected to receive a verdict Monday in his mass trial with almost 500 other people ― a moment his advocates say could be make-or-break. The case underscores how complicated Washington’s relationship with the world’s largest Arab country remains as the U.S.-supported government engages in what rights groups call the worst wave of repression in modern Egyptian history.
Egyptian military officers arrested Ahmed Etwiy on Aug. 17, 2013, during a security operation targeting political protesters, according to his family and American attorney Praveen Madhiraju. Authorities held him at a military facility and then a massive prison complex for over three years before a trial began. Etwiy was not even involved in the protests, his defenders maintain. Then a 23-year-old student at the German University in Cairo, he was in the area to escort his grandfather to a bus depot.

read more
Print Friendly, PDF & Email