FREE PATRICK ZAKI
As a college student invested in the protection of academic freedom as a human right, I urge you to take immediate action in calling on Egypt to free Patrick George Zaki, a researcher specializing in gender at Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). On February 7, 2020, the Egyptian citizen landed at the Cairo airport while on break from his postgraduate studies in Italy and was detained by the Egyptian National Security Agency (NSA) upon arrival. At the airport, Zaki was subjected to 17 hours of blindfolded and handcuffed interrogation and then at an undisclosed NSA location in Mansoura, where authorities questioned him about his human rights work and his studies in Italy; during interrogation, he suffered from being threatened, beaten, and tortured with electric shocks. Zaki has been charged with a myriad of crimes, including promoting terrorism, disseminating false news, and inciting a protest simply because his work is based around the promotion for the rights of women and members of the LGBT community. Zaki continues to be held without trial, and his physical and mental health declines with each passing day. The United States has historically had a strong relationship with Egypt, and one key aspect of the relationship has been Egypt’s receiving of billions of dollars in aid from the United States. Therefore, the United States is in a position to work with Egypt and obtain Zaki’s release. For centuries, the United States has said that they champion the promotion of democratic values and the freedom of people to make statements that the administration may not agree with. The detention of Zaki due to his academic work is reprehensible and stands against American values of freedom of speech and expression. In order to fulfill the self-proclaimed goal of freedom around the world, the United States must take action and work with Egypt to release Patrick George Zaki.
First sent on April 28 by SCHOLARS AT RISK
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