Free Khaled Al-Qazzaz


On July 8, 2013, five days after the military coup, HRW published a report entitled 'Halt Arbitrary Action Against Brotherhood, Media.' In this report, HRW acknowledged the disappearance of Khaled Al-Qazzaz and nine more aides in the government of former President Morsi. The report states:

"The military has also arrested the deposed president himself and at least ten members of his team and kept them in incommunicado detention for four days, unable to speak with their families or lawyer. The military has not confirmed where they are currently held, nor formally charged them with any recognizable offenses or brought them before a judge. The military should release the former president and his aides unless prosecutors have evidence that they committed a cognizable crime under Egyptian law, Human Rights Watch said. Any such charges should not contradict the internationally recognized rights to free expression and peaceful association."

Khaled's name appears in this report under the list "Detained incommunicado by military, presumed to be at Presidential Guard headquarters"


On December 1, 2013, nearly five months after the start of Khaled's detention, HRW published a report on Khaled's disappearance (and that of four other Morsi aides), exposing the wrongdoings of the Egyptian regime. The report entitled 'Egypt: Morsy’s Ex-Aides Forcibly Disappeared' confirms Khaled to be missing for 150 days at the time of publishing and his whereabouts to be unknown. Highlights from the report have been reproduced below:

"Almost five months later, the government has yet to formally acknowledge their detention or disclose their fate or whereabouts, conditions that constitute enforced disappearance." 

“What kind of roadmap is this where a military-backed government can brazenly disappear former presidential aides for 150 days without any explanation?” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director. “Forcibly disappearing people for months on end doesn’t inspire confidence that this government intends to follow the rule of law.” 

"An enforced disappearance also constitutes a “continuous” crime under international law: it persists, and continues to inflict suffering on the victim’s family, as long as the fate of the missing person is unknown or concealed. The UN Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances, proclaimed by the General Assembly in 1992, recognizes the practice of “disappearances” as a violation of the rights to due process, liberty, and security of a person."

The full report includes testimony from Khaled's wife, Sarah Attia, and his sister, Mona Al-Qazzaz. 


On December 25, 2013, HRW published a report entitled 'Morsi Aides Moved from Secret Detention' acknowledging that Khaled Al-Qazzaz and other aides with him were moved to Tora Prison and that this move "fails to remedy over five months of secret military detention." Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director of HRW further writes: 

“It’s a Kafkaesque world when Egypt’s government can secretly detain people for over five months and make up stories that they were arrested months later. Egypt should punish those who ordered the secret detention of these five men, and compensate the victims."