PARIS (Reuters) – Egyptian authorities have informed France of the imminent release of political activist Ramy Shaath from detention, the French foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
Four judicial and security sources told Reuters on Monday that procedures to release Shaath were under way https://www.reuters.com/article/egypt-court-idAFL1N2TJ20Y, with two adding that he would be deported to France.
“The Egyptian authorities informed us yesterday of the imminent release of Ramy Shaath,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre told reporters in a daily briefing. “We continue to follow the situation with the utmost attention.”
Shaath, a member of several secular political groups in Egypt and a co-founder of Egypt’s pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, was arrested in June 2019 and held in pre-trial detention on accusations of aiding a terrorist group.
In April 2020 he was placed on a terrorism list along with 12 others, a decision that was upheld by Egypt’s highest civilian court in July 2021.
Shaath’s French wife Celine Lebrun Shaath, who was deported from Egypt following his arrest, has lobbied the French government to pressure Egypt to release him.
In a statement last month, several NGOs questioned President Emmanuel Macron on the fate of Shaath, a year after the French leader said he had brought up his case with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
However, at the time Macron made it clear https://www.reuters.com/article/france-egypt-macron-arms-idUSKBN28H1G1 that human rights would not determine his economic and military ties with Cairo.
France said in May it would deliver 30 Rafale warplanes to Egypt from 2024 in a 4 billion euro ($4.8 billion) deal, as it strengthened its military partnership with Cairo.
(Reporting by John Irish; Editing by Alex Richardson)