Egypt: Human rights lawyer forcibly disappeared


Osama Bayoumi is working on a number of sensitive cases and his clients’ files are now in the hands of authorities after his laptop and phone were seized, a rights group says

Egyptian human rights lawyer Osama Bayoumi has been “forcibly disappeared” since his detention four days ago in Cairo, a rights group told Middle East Eye on Tuesday.

Bayoumi has been “arbitrarily detained” and has not been presented to any investigative authorities since his arrest in a dawn raid on his home on Saturday, Ahmed Attar, executive director of the London-based Egyptian Network for Human Rights (ENHR), said.

Bayoumi, a prominent rights lawyer and member of the Lawyers Syndicate, is handling a number of high-profile cases, many of them involving political prisoners.

According to Attar, Egyptian security forces stormed Bayoumi’s home at 1am in the capital, without presenting an arrest warrant. They confiscated his work laptop, mobile phone and some cash.

“His work computer has confidential information about his cases and his clients,” Attar said.

“Mr Bayoumi has a known address and office in Cairo. Authorities who need to obtain any information from him could have easily reached him without the need for unlawful detention,” Attar added.

According to Egyptian law, detainees must appear before an investigative body within a maximum of 24 hours after arrest.

Egyptian and international rights groups have documented hundreds of cases of enforced disappearance since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi led his military coup against his democratically-elected predecessor Mohamed Morsi in 2013.


Egypt: Human rights lawyer forcibly disappeared