Egyptian human rights activist Aisha Al Shater arbitrarily detained following 21-day enforced disappearance

Egyptian human rights activist Aisha Al Shater arbitrarily detained following 21-day enforced disappearance

Human rights activist Aisha Al Shater was abducted by state security forces at her house in Cairo on October 31, 2018. On November 21, she reappeared at the office of the state security prosecutor in Cairo, where she was accused of "joining an illegal group" and "inciting harm to the national economy", and placed in pre-trial detention.
Latest Updates
April 3, 2019: Egyptian authorities reply to the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances’ communication, stating that “Aisha Muhammad Khairat al-Shater was charged in Supreme State Security Court Case No. 1552 of 2018 and is detained in Qanater Women’s Prison.”
November 24, 2018: State security prosecutor orders pre-trial detention
November 21, 2018: Reappears at the office of the state security prosecutor in Cairo
November 11, 2018: The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances sends a communication to the Egyptian authorities requesting that they clarify Al Shater’s fate and whereabouts.
November 7, 2018: MENA Rights Group requests intervention of UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
November 6, 2018: MENA Rights Group requests intervention of UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
November 1, 2018: Arrested by state security forces in Cairo and disappeared

On October 31, 2018, at around 11 p.m., state security forces broke into and raided Aisha Al Shater’s house in Cairo. They arrested her without a warrant and took her to an unknown location. At the same time, the officers arrested her husband, Mohamed Abu Horarira Mohamed Abdul Rahman. For 21 days, Al Shater’s fate and whereabouts remained unknown. She reappeared on November 21, 2018, at the office of the state security prosecutor in Cairo, who accused her of "joining an illegal group" and "inciting harm to the national economy", and ordered her pre-trial detention.

During pre-trial detention, Al Shater was subjected to severe acts of torture. In late January 2019, Al Shater was transferred to Al Qanater Women’s Prison and subjected to prolonged solitary confinement. Due to a serious medical condition, Al Shater’s health has deteriorated rapidly and, as a result of the conditions of her detention, there are concerns that her life is at serious risk without ongoing specialist treatment.  

Aisha Al Shater’s arrest took place amidst a wave of arrests occurring in late October 2018, which targeted at least 40 human rights lawyers and activists.