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Sweden/Egypt: Further information on Forcible Return/ Risk of Torture, Muhammad Muhammad Suleiman Ibrahim El-Zari, Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza

, Index number: MDE 12/001/2002

Hanan Ahmed Fouad ‘Abd al-Khaleq has gone into hiding with her five children, fearing that the Swedish authorities are about to forcibly return them to Egypt. She has submitted a complaint to the United Nations Committee against Torture., arguing that Sweden has violated her rights under the Convention. Her husband Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza was forcibly returned to Egypt on 18 December, together with Muhammad Muhammad Suleiman Ibrahim El-Zari.

PUBLIC AI Index: MDE 12/001/2002
10 January 2002
Further information on UA 324/01 (MDE 12/035/2001, 19 December 2001) - forcible
return / risk of torture
SWEDEN/EGYPTMuhammad Muhammad Suleiman Ibrahim El-Zari (m), aged 33
Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza (m), aged 39
Hanan Ahmed Fouad ‘Abd al-Khaleq (f), his wife
Their five children
Hanan Ahmed Fouad ‘Abd al-Khaleq has gone into hiding with her five children,
fearing that the Swedish authorities are about to forcibly return them to Egypt.
She has submitted a complaint to the United Nations Committee against Torture,
arguing that Sweden has violated her rights under the Convention against
Torture, by attempting to return her to a country where she would be at risk
of torture.
The Swedish government rejected her application for refugee status on 18
December, in an unfair procedure in which she was denied the right to appeal
against the initial decision. Her husband Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza
was forcibly returned to Egypt on 18 December, together with Muhammad Muhammad
Suleiman Ibrahim El-Zari.
If she is returned to Egypt, Hanan Ahmed Fouad ‘Abd al-Khaleq is liable to
be tortured, chiefly because her husband is alleged to be a member of an armed
Islamist group. Female relatives of suspected members of Islamist organizations
in Egypt have been subjected to grave human rights violations. Women have been
tortured, or threatened with torture, to make them give information about their
male relatives’ alleged activities, or to pressurize the relatives themselves
into confessing.
There has been no news of Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza and Muhammad Muhammad
Suleiman Ibrahim El-Zari since they were returned to Egypt, over three weeks
ago. Their relatives and lawyers have tried to find out what has happened to
them, and sought permission to see them, without success. Amnesty International
fears they are held incommunicado, at grave risk of torture and ill-treatment.
The Swedish government maintained that the men would not be at risk of serious
human rights violations in Egypt, on the basis of written guarantees from the
Egyptian authorities. However, these guarantees have proven to be wholly
insufficient.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as
possible, in English, Swedish or your own language:
- expressing concern at reports that Hanan Ahmed Fouad ‘Abd al-Khaleq and her
five children are at imminent risk of being forcibly returned to Egypt, and
calling for all attempts to return them to be halted;
- calling on the Swedish authorities to ensure that her application for refugee
status is reassessed in a fair procedure;
- urging the Swedish authorities to find out where Muhammad Muhammad Suleiman
Ibrahim El-Zari and Ahmed Hussein Mustafa Kamil Agiza are held, and to ensure
that representatives of the Swedish embassy in Egypt meet with the two men,
find out how they have been treated, and ensure that they have access to legal
counsel;
2
- stressing that the forcible return of any person to a country where they
are at risk of serious human rights violations is a violation of Sweden’s
obligations under the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel,
Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
APPEALS TO:
Prime Minister Göran Persson
Prime Minister’s Office
SE-103 33 Stockholm
Sweden
Fax: + 46 8 723 11 71
E-mail: registrator@primeminister.ministry.se
Salutation:Dear Prime Minister
Foreign Minister Anna Lindh
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Box 161 21
SE-103 39 Stockholm
Sweden
Fax: + 46 8 723 11 76
E-mail: registrator@foreign.ministry.se
Salutation:Dear Minister
Ambassador Sven G. Linder
Embassy of Sweden
13, Mohamed Mazhar Street
PO Box 131
11211 Zamalek
Egypt
Fax: +20 2 735 43 57
E-mail:ambassaden.kairo@foreign.ministry.se
Salutation:Your Excellency
and to diplomatic representatives of Sweden accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 February 2002.

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