Rector Decries Delay of Justice: CEU Student Remains in Egyptian Prison on False Charges – Retrial Verdict Expected July 4
Statement by Central European University (CEU) President and Rector Shalini Randeria on the outcome of the June 6, 2022, court date of CEU MA student Ahmed Samir Santawy
Vienna, June 7, 2022 – Monday’s court proceedings failed to put an end to the senseless imprisonment of our student Ahmed Samir Santawy, who was arrested in Cairo over a year ago. Although his defense was heard at court yesterday, and a date is now set for the verdict (July 4), we deplore Ahmed’s continued detention.
After his conviction was quashed earlier this year, Egyptian authorities have twice postponed his re-trial (March 14 and May 9), making this latest extension of his unjust imprisonment all the more inhumane. The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found that Ahmed has been jailed arbitrarily and in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, merely for exercising his freedom of opinion and expression as a researcher and as a private citizen.
As an Austrian but also an American university, we hope to celebrate the July 4 Independence Day as the day of Ahmed’s release. We protest against any prolongation of the suffering Ahmed and his loved ones must endure, and we will campaign tirelessly to see him freed and able to return to his studies in Vienna. We call upon our peer universities and institutes of higher education in Austria, Europe and around the world, as well as students' associations and colleagues everywhere who have supported our campaign—to continue to press for Ahmed’s immediate and unconditional release.
Join us in a vigil in support of Ahmed today, Tuesday, June 7 at 12pm in front of the CEU campus in Vienna, Austria. For details please click here.
Notes for Editors:
Following his arrest on 1 February 2021, Ahmed was subjected to enforced disappearance. He was beaten and blindfolded while undergoing interrogation over his research into women’s reproductive rights in Egypt. Five days later, on 6 February 2021, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered his detention pending investigations into terrorism-related charges. On June 23, 2021, after an emergency court sentenced him to four years’ imprisonment for publishing “false news”, Ahmed went on hunger strike for 40 days to protest against the ruling. On February 16, 2022, his sentence was quashed in advance of a retrial.