- Press Statement -
GUERNICA 37 INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE CHAMBERS FILES INVESTIGATIVE REPORT WITH THE METROPOLITAN POLICE COUNTER TERRORISM COMMAND (SO15) SEEKING THE ARREST OF ABDEL FATTEH EL-SISI ON CHARGES OF TORTURE AND MURDER
LONDON, 18 January 2020 – In light of the forthcoming visit to the UK of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Barristers at Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, instructed by the Egyptian Revolutionary Council, has filed a criminal complaint with the Metropolitan Police Service Counter Terrorism Command (SO15), requesting that an investigation be opened into allegations of torture and murder and that an arrest warrant be issued.
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is believed to be visiting the United Kingdom on 19-20 January 2020, and accordingly, Guernica 37 International justice Chambers is requesting that SO15 commence an investigation into credible allegations of torture made against the Egyptian Government and its State organs. This is a matter that has been taken to the U.N. Special Rapporteur, Dr. Agnes Callemard, for the opening of an inquiry to the death of the former President, and his son, Abdullah Morsi. Due to the fact that Sisi is due to the visit the United Kingdom on 19-20 January 2020, it is incumbent upon the authorities to properly investigate these serious allegations and seek the consent of the Attorney General to arrest the military leader and bring torture charges against him. The United Kingdom cannot be seen as a safe haven for those who consider themselves immune from prosecution
In particular, the complaint will request that the death of former Egyptian President, Dr. Mohamed Morsi, and the treatment suffered prior to his death, which constitutes torture, be investigated.
There can be no doubt that the treatment suffered amounted to torture, and further, that this directly contributed to his death in a Cairo Court on 17 June 2019.
Dr Morsi having been removed from office by way of a military coup d’état led by the then Army Chief, General Sisi, following which, he was detained for six years following allegations without any credible foundation, and following a judicial process replete with fair trial violations that had been almost universally condemned globally. It has been made clear that the judicial process constituted, according to basic standards, a flagrant denial of justice.
Throughout his detention, the Egyptian Military Government was warned on countless occasions that Dr. Morsi’s deteriorating health was a direct consequence of the treatment he was suffering in prison and that if he were not granted his basic humanitarian rights, he would die. These warnings were ignored and Dr Morsi lost his life whilst being held in a cage in a Cairo Court, having said to have suffered a heart attack.
The instances of torture that the former President suffered whilst being detained in Egypt’s notorious ‘Scorpion’ Prison are numerous; he was refused access to medical treatment for the various health conditions that he suffered, including diabetes; that denial of treatment resulting in the loss of vision in his left eye and recurrent diabetic comas.
Dr. Morsi also suffered bone and muscular pain, including a significant and sustained injury to his back and spine as a consequence of being forced to sleep on a cement floor.
Further, he demonstrated a significant deterioration in his liver and kidney function due to malnutrition, Dr. Morsi telling both his son and court on numerous occasions that the food he was receiving was of such poor standard and voicing concerns that it had been poisoned.
These allegations, despite the protestations of the Military Government to the contrary, were given further credence in a report released in November 2019, by a group of U.N. Human Rights Experts who detailed how Dr. Morsi was held in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day and prevented from seeing other prisoners, even during the one hour a day when he was permitted to exercise.
This report was highlighted in that published and filed with the U.N. Special Rapporteurs, by members of Guernica 37.
It is inconceivable to consider that Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was unaware of the torture of Dr. Morsi, his very appointment being the direct result of the ousting of the first democratically elected President.
It is no mere assumption that the treatment of Dr. Morsi contributed to his death and there is a compelling argument that it was his treatment at the hands of the Military Regime that killed him and that this was the intention.
The ongoing impunity for his death cannot be allowed to continue, and where there is opportunity to investigate and prosecute, it must be taken.
To that end, we would highlight that the United Kingdom is under a duty to investigate and prosecute any offences of torture wherever they may have been committed, accordingly, it is argued to be incumbent, in light of the impending visit, for appropriate action to be taken.
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