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France 24 spoke with Ramy Shaath, an Egyptian-Palestinian activist who spent two and a half years in prison in Egypt, accused of having supported a terrorist group. Co-founder of the pro-Palestinian BDS movement, he was a member of several secular political groups. Ramy Shaath, who has never been formally charged, discusses the conditions of his arrest, detention and release from prison on January 8. According to him, “arbitrary detentions and arrests” represent an ever-increasing “majority” in Egyptian prisons under the reign of President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.
I have seen hundreds of people thrown in jail for a joke or a message, or even a ‘like’ on a Facebook post”, assures Ramy Shaath.
Asked about his renunciation of Egyptian nationality before his release, Ramy Shaath said he had “no choice”, calling the situation a “clear case of blackmail”. He also says he understood that “silence was expected of him” and affirms that he has already received threats urging him to do so.
Finally, Ramy Shaath criticizes the European position vis-à-vis human rights in Egypt. According to him, it lacks firmness and is “short-termist”, because it is conditioned by its economic interests.