Egypt Independent

‘Forcibly disappeared’ woman from BBC report appears on TV

A young Egyptian woman which a recent BBC report alleged had been “forcibly disappeared” in Egypt appeared on television on Monday night, where she refuted claims that she had been “kidnapped by authorities.”

According to her interview with renowned TV anchor Amr Adib, broadcast on the privately-run ONTV, 25-year old Zubeida Ibrahim Younis denied the authenticity of claims of “forced disappearance” she allegedly encountered, as claimed in the BBC’s “The Shadow Over Egypt” report published on Friday.

The 5,000–word BBC article came with a video in which BBC reporter Orla Guerin conducted interviews with families of alleged victims of torture and enforced disappearance by security services.

In the report, Zubeida’s mother said that her daughter had “forcibly disappeared,” in what was believed to be an act committed by security services. However, Zubeida denied her mother’s BBC testimony, saying that she had abandoned her mother due to their disharmony regarding disputes.

Zubeida explained that she is married and is staying with her husband in Giza’s Faisal district.

She admitted that she and her mother had both previously been detained together, however, she denied any reports of torture or electrocution by security personnel.

Revealing the reasons behind her detention, Zubeida explained that her sole detention lasted four months with her mother at the women’s Segan Al-Qanater prison, after police arrested them from Abdel Moneim Riyadh square, where they were participating in a protest.

“I think the protest is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), we were supporters of this group,” she said

She affirmed that her husband, who is a football coach, was a sympathizer and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party. Zubeida also revealed that her mother was once a guest on an MB channel, and claimed her daughter had been kidnapped and tortured.

Elaborating on her mother’s relation to the MB, she explained that her mother participated in the islamists’ 2013 Nahda sit-in camp for 10 days.

Zubeida stressed that there was no “pressure” from security authorities to refute claims of mistreatment in detention.

In response to the BBC report, which addressed Egypt’s human rights conditions and alleged torture, Egypt’s official State Information Service (SIS) said that the report contains “lies and allegations.”

According to the SIS statement, it requested to summon the head of the BBC’s office in Egypt to receive an official letter of response on the report. It also called on the BBC to adopt a stance to address the alleged flagrant professional violations of its correspondent.

“The author of the report, Orla Guerin aimed to impose her biased personal views and impressions through the report, she committed violations to internationally recognized professional norms, and those of the BBC itself,” the SIS statement read.