Detention and torture of Patrick George Zaky in Egypt
Question for written answer E-000803/2020
to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Brando Benifei (S&D), Andrea Cozzolino (S&D), Pierfrancesco Majorino (S&D), Giuliano Pisapia (S&D), Pina Picierno (S&D)
The Egyptian Interior Ministry confirmed during the night of 6 to 7 February 2020 that Patrick George Zaky, a student and researcher at Bologna University, had been arrested and would be held in custody for 15 days. Zaky, an LGBTI rights activist, had only just landed in Cairo for a visit to his family. It appears he has been accused of inciting protests, attempting to overthrow the government, using social media to undermine national security and spreading propaganda on behalf of terrorist groups. There are fears that, following his detention, he has been beaten and tortured with electric shocks. His case is reminiscent of that of the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni, who was brutally tortured and murdered in February 2016.
1. Is the High Representative aware of this latest serious case?
2. Will he undertake to raise this case with the Egyptian authorities as a matter of urgency and to call at all levels for Zaky’s immediate release?