Ignatieff Calls for International Effort to Ensure Release of Ahmed Samir Santawy

Statement by CEU President and Rector, Michael Ignatieff - February 18, 2021

CEU student, Ahmed Samir Santawy, arrested in Cairo on February 1 and charged on February 6 with belonging to a terrorist organization and spreading false news on social media, was yesterday afternoon remanded for a further 15 days, without a hearing or any legal representation.

CEU condemns this denial of our student’s right to a fair hearing and calls on the Egyptian authorities to grant Ahmed immediate access to legal counsel and to his family. We further call on them to resolve the matter as quickly as possible so that Ahmed can complete his master’s degree in Vienna.  We have no evidence that would support the charges against our student and call for his immediate release.

We thank the Austrian and American governments for their continuing efforts to raise the case with Egyptian authorities. We call on the European authorities to raise Ahmed’s case in their contacts with the Egyptian government. CEU has already brought the case to the attention of UN human rights bodies and the EU human rights rapporteur.

We encourage universities and institutes of higher education in Austria, Europe and around the world, as well as students' associations everywhere to join us in calling for Ahmed’s immediate release.