Updated: Mar 10, 2020
Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers Expresses Grave Concern Over the Treatment of Osama Morsi, the Son of the Former President, and Calls for the UN Special Rapporteur on Summary Execution to Urgently Intervene
On behalf of the family we call upon the Egyptian State Authorities to recognise their obligations to Osama Morsi to ensure that he is treated in accordance with the standards prescribed by national and international law.
Osama has been detained since his arrest on 16 December 2016 on the most spurious of allegations and in 2017 he was convicted and sentenced to a term of imprisonment in a trial process that can only be described as a flagrant denial of justice.
Osama’s case is expected to proceed today, in his absence, and despite attempting to lodge complaints with the Prosecutor General, the authorities have refused to receive any complaints and refused to take any steps to protect his rights and his life is now believed to be in imminent danger.
Acting as the lawyer for the family, we express our very real concern that his life is in danger and he is under constant threat. There is a very credible risk of him being poisoned in prison and that he is being subjected to the same dangers to his life as his late father. In order to highlight these concerns, he has initiated a hunger strike.
We must highlight the fact that Osama’s father and younger brother both died as a result of their opposition to the Military Regime led by Egyptian Army Chief, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. It is believed that they were killed by the authorities and we call upon the United Nations to launch a full investigation into their deaths.
We remind the Egyptian State Authorities that is a specific obligation to respect, and refrain from breaching, any and all the rights secured by international human rights law (negative obligation) and to ensure their protection to all individuals within their territory (positive obligation). Accordingly, State responsibility may arise in terms of negative obligations requiring that a State, and all its organs and agents thereto, abstain from taking any action that violates human rights or fundamental freedoms, such as arbitrary arrest and arbitrary or incommunicado detention; acts of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment; and extra-judicial execution by agents of the State; including police, military, intelligence operatives or other public officials.
State responsibility may also arise in terms of positive obligations requiring that the State take positive action to protect human rights in order to prevent violations. This obligation requires that the State and its public authorities take the measures necessary to prevent others from violating the rights of individuals within its territory.
The failure to secure and protect the rights of all members of the Morsi family will not remain unpunished, and all accountability avenues, domestic and international, will be pursued, to bring those responsible to account.
It is important to highlight that the crimes of torture and murder have no statute of limitation, and where there is evidence there will be full investigations, and eventual prosecutions, against those persons responsible.