Egyptian activists: Search for missing

Oct. 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM   |   Comments

CAIRO, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The new Egyptian government is not doing enough to find people who disappeared during and after the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, activists say.

President Mohamed Morsi pardoned political prisoners this week and has set up a special commission to investigate the missing. But Ahmed Raghab, a lawyer and member of the commission, told CNN that government institutions, including the courts, are not doing all they can to locate missing people.

Simple steps such as collecting DNA from unidentified bodies could help remove people from the list, Raghab said.

Nermeen Yousri, co-founder of the Hanlaqihom, or We Will Find Them Campaign, told CNN that in March 2011 a report listed 1,200 people who had vanished in January and February. He said the government has the list but has done nothing to update it or to find out if those on it have turned up in prison or dead.

Ahmed Taha said he was 17 when he was arrested outside the High Court. He said he was beaten and sexually assaulted by police officers and that for nine months his family did not know if he was alive or dead.

He was released in July without charge.

Mohamed Siddiq, who was also arrested in early 2011, is still missing. His mother, Sabah, said she talked to him on the phone about two weeks after his arrest and has heard nothing since.

She is frustrated: "Isn't the government supposed to bring me back my son? Who's responsible for this country? Dr. Morsi, right? He's supposed to find where my son is."

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