Joint Letters Following Release of Mr Patrick George Zaki​

Following the heartening news of the decision to pardon Mr Patrick George Zaki, the BRISMES Committee on Academic Freedom together with the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Italian Society for the Study of the Middle East (SeSaMO) have written to the Egyptian government and to EU and Italian authorities to express our deep concerns regarding the ongoing detention of thousands of other students, academics, researchers and human rights defenders in Egypt.

Cases such as Patrick Zaki’s and those of thousands of prisoners of conscience in Egypt suggest that authorities are failing to uphold the principles of academic freedom and of legitimate academic activity that are enshrined both in several international treaties to which the Egyptian government is a signatory and in Egyptian law itself, and instead that the treatment of human rights defenders is being guided by the objective of repressing dissent. Alaa Abd El-Fattah, for example, remains in prison, and the Egyptian government has yet to cooperate with investigations into the torture and assassination of Giulio Regeni.

We call upon Egyptian authorities to immediately release all human rights defenders, peaceful protesters and critics of the Egyptian government, to drop all charges against them, and to uphold internationally recognized standards in the respect of human rights.

We also call upon European governments and upon the EU to take action exercising the legal, diplomatic and commercial levers available to them in a manner coherent with their proclamation of ideals of human rights and fundamental values.

Letter to Egyptian government

Letter to EU and Italian authorities