Egypt: European envoys rapped for criticizing detention of human rights lawyer

The Egyptian government on Sunday summoned several Western ambassadors to protest a statement criticizing the country’s detention of a human rights lawyer.

Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, an expert on forced disappearances, who is working on the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni, has been in detention since September.

Several Western countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Britain and Canada have issued a statement late on Friday critical of the detention of the lawyer.

The countries said they were “deeply concerned” at the continuing detention of the human rights lawyer Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry described the statement as “unacceptable,” saying it was an outright intervention in its internal affairs and judiciary.

According to the Ministry, it is unfortunate that such a statement would be issued from countries that call for respecting the rule of law and the principles of separation of powers.

Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy has been detained since September 10, 2017. He was arrested at Cairo International Airport while he was about to board a flight to Geneva to attend an event at the invitation of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances (WGEID).

Egyptian officials accuse Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy of “founding and leading an organization that was created illegally”.

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