Céline Lebrun-Shaath: "My husband is in a legal void"

Céline Lebrun-Shaath during a demonstration in support of her husband, journalist Ramy Shaath, on June 23, 2021 in Paris, near the Egyptian embassy.

AP - Lewis Joly

Text by: Nicolas Falez Follow

3 min

Céline Lebrun-Shaath is the wife of Egyptian-Palestinian activist Ramy Shaath, imprisoned since July 2019 in Egypt.

An emblematic case, since his case was cited by Emmanuel Macron in December 2020 at the Elysee Palace, while the French President received his counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.

A year later, Ramy Shaath is still detained without having been tried.

“Is the release of Ramy Shaath still a priority for France?

»Ask several NGOs (*), while Cairo and Paris have excellent strategic and commercial relations.

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On December 7, 2020 the name of Ramy Shaath was mentioned during the press conference of Emmanuel Macron and Abdel Fattah al-Sissi at the Elysee.

Did you have any hope of your husband's quick release

?

Céline Lebrun-Shaath:

This intervention raised a lot of hope.

Sadly, those hopes gradually faded as visits by the Egyptian president and other senior officials followed one another in Paris and contracts were signed.

But my husband remains in prison.

What is his legal situation today

?

My husband is today in a legal void.

In Egypt, the maximum authorized period of preventive detention is two years.

However, Ramy has been in prison for two years and five months.

And despite this, the renewals of preventive detention follow one another as if nothing had happened.

We have received no response to the request for release filed by his lawyer after two years.

Do you have any information on what is concretely accused of your husband, Ramy Shaath

?

No evidence since neither my husband, his family, nor the lawyers have had access to the investigative file on the basis of which Ramy is supposed to be detained.

So we have no way to defend ourselves.

And these accusations are vague, no evidence has ever been presented to justify them.

"Assistance to a terrorist group"?

This group has never been named.

"Dissemination of false information"?

At no time were we aware of this "false information" that my husband is supposed to have disseminated.

"Attempt to undermine the stability of the state"?

It is a most vague accusation that makes it possible to suppress anyone who dares to think differently from the Egyptian government.

What are his conditions of detention

?

He is held in a

25 m² cell

, with about fifteen fellow prisoners.

They sleep on the floor, they don't have hot water.

There are six small openings without windows and winter is coming.

The cell is infested with bedbugs and the authorities are doing nothing to fix it, as the itchiness prevents everyone from sleeping.

I let you imagine the psychological state in which one can be after 900 days of completely arbitrary captivity, without any means of defense.

(*) Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture (Acat), Amnesty International, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and League of Human Rights.

► Listen again on RFI: Revolution in Egypt, year 9 (Orient Hebdo, January 2020)

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