Shura Council delegation to visit Egyptian detainees in Saudi

The Shura Council Human Rights Committee has sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia to visit Egyptian detainees and meet with representatives of the Kingdom's rights organizations.

Committee deputy Mohamed al-Azab said he heard from Egyptian Organization for Human Rights head Hafez Abu Seada that Ahmed al-Gizawy, an Egyptian lawyer detained on allegations of drug smuggling, is receiving good treatment.

“The case is on the right track, but we have fears that the political side of the case will affect the legal side of it due to the reactions to the arrest of Gizawy,” said Azab.

A Saudi court on Wednesday adjourned the trial of Gizawy, another Egyptian and a Saudi defendant to 5 September.

Protests broke out at the Saudi Embassy in Cairo following Gizawy's April arrest as activists alleged he was being detained for his work with Egyptian detainees in the kingdom. The unrest prompted Saudi Arabia to temporarily recall its ambassador.

Committee member Reda al-Hefnawy criticized the performance of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

“Every day we discover it is helpless," he said, calling for a a hotline connecting the Shura Council committee and the ministry.

The Saudi ambassador has reportedly been in contact with Egyptian MP Salah Abdel Salam, alleging that Gizawy was arrested with considerable amounts of narcotics and should stand trial.  The ambassador told Salam that the matter should be left to the judiciary and that Egypt's role should be confined to ensuring he receives a fair trial and is not subjected to torture.

MP Salah Moussa stressed the importance of conducting the case in a way that doesn't affect those of other Egyptians detained in the Gulf country.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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