The undersigned organizations condemn the arrest of Egyptian-American citizen Sherif Osman in the UAE, amid fears of deporting him to Egypt. We call on the Emirati authorities to immediately release Osman, and call on members of the international community not to aid Egyptian authorities in their attempts to export the climate of fear Egyptians suffer to dissidents abroad.
Sherif Osman, who is based in the US and was in Dubai on a family visit, was arrested by Emirati authorities at the request of the Egyptian government, due to his social media posts critical of Egyptian authorities and President Abdelfattah al-Sisi. The request came through the League of Arab States’ Arab Interior Ministers Council.
Osman was arrested two days after his arrival to the UAE and was not allowed to communicate with his lawyer for a month, where his 15-day preventive detention was renewed twice. On November 30, Emirati authorities communicated with their Egyptian counterparts to request additional information, to prepare necessary paperwork to deport him to Egypt. This gives the Egyptian government 30 days to submit necessary information. Osman faces the charges of calling for or inciting protests by spreading information through the internet.
The arrest of Osman comes as part of the Egyptian authorities’ growing attempts to target dissent abroad. If deported to Egypt, Osman will share the fate of tens of thousands of political prisoners who are detained in inhumane conditions, and suffer torture and degrading treatment while being detained indefinitely without access to fair trial.
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
- Egyptian Front for Human Rights
- El Nadim Center
- Committee for Justice
- The Freedom Initiative