As Biden wins, Egypt releases 5 Activists

Biden’s Victory coincides with Egyptian Authorities' Release of 5 Relatives of the Activist Mohamed Sultan

Cairo: Mohamed Sultan, the American activist of Egyptian origin, announced on Saturday evening that the authorities in Cairo released 5 of his relatives.

It came in Sultan’s post on his Facebook page; simultaneously with the announcement, in US media, of the victory of the democratic candidate Joe Biden as the president of the country.

He said in the post: “Alhamdulillah, after 144 days in prison, Egyptian authorities released my five cousins”. He pointed out that “they were arrested because of the case against (Hazem) Al-Beblawi (the previous Prime Minister of Egypt who took over from July 2013 to February 2014) in America”.

On his part, the Egyptian lawyer Ahmed Saad, head of the Defense Authority for Sultan’s relatives, said in two statements in Arabic and English on Saturday evening “the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided (last Tuesday) to release 5 of Mohamed Sultan’s relatives”.

He made it clear that “they were arrested in mid-June as a result of Sultan’s lawsuit against Al-Beblawi in an American court.

He added “the released people arrived at their homes on Thursday and Friday, after it became clear that the accusations against them were incorrect (without details).”

Last month, 56 members of the US Congress sent a letter to the Egyptian president asking for the release of the political prisoners. Whereas observers say that Biden’s policies will be more decisive than his predecessor Trump on human rights issues in Egypt.

Omar Abdulaziz, the Saudi activist, wrote on Twitter “months ago, Biden threatened Sissi and mentioned the name of the Egyptian activist. At the time, five of his family members were in prison. Yesterday, Sissi anticipated Biden’s victory and released them”.

At the beginning of last June, Sultan Al-Ibn announced in a statement filing a lawsuit with an American court against Al-Beblawi, accusing him and other officials of “torturing him” while he was arrested in Egypt years ago “under Protection Act of The American Torture Victims”.

No comment was given from Egyptian authorities on the release or lawsuit; except Cairo’s denial, during that period, of any local or international accusations of torture in its headquarters or prisons, or the existence of any political detainees.

Cairo released Sultan five years ago after renouncing his Egyptian nationality and traveling to the US, less than two years after his arrest in August 2013, and the start of his trial in the case known in the media as “fourth operation room”.

After renouncing his Egyptian nationality, Sultan waived up to 25 years prison sentence in that case on the back of accusations he denies by “participating in an armed picket”.

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