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'Be transparent about his whereabouts': US Senator tells Egypt to reveal location of Mostafa al-Naggar

Senator Marco Rubio says Egyptian government should reveal activist's location to his family
Mostafa al-Naggar, 40, is a dentist, human rights activist and former politician (Facebook)
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Washington

US Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on the Egyptian government to disclose the location of Mostafa al-Naggar, a prominent activist and former politician who has been missing for more than 16 months.

Naggar rose to prominence during the Arab Spring after he blogged against long-time leader Hosni Mubarak and voiced support for democracy and human rights.

The dentist went on to serve in Egypt's first democratically elected parliament, headed by former president Mohamed Morsi, who died in June last year after prolonged imprisonment.

According to his wife, Shymaa Afifi, Naggar, 40, was last seen on 28 September 2018. 

He faced charges of insulting the judiciary and was due to appear in court a month after he went missing.

In December 2018, his friends told MEE they feared he had been killed attempting to escape Egypt by crossing the country's southern border to Sudan.

"Fmr Egyptian MP Mostafa El Naggar has been missing since Sept 2018," Senator Rubio's media team tweeted on Friday.

"He is believed to have been forcibly disappeared by the Egyptian govt. Sen. Rubio urges the Egyptian govt take all steps to provide his family info and be transparent about his whereabouts."

Last month, an Egyptian court ordered the country's interior minister to reveal Naggar's whereabouts.

The decision is expected to take effect in February, compelling Egypt's Interior Minister Mahmoud Tawfik to reveal his location, according to his wife.

'Where is he?': Egyptian government ordered to reveal location of Mostafa al-Naggar
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Human Rights Watch says tens of thousands of people have been arbitrarily arrested by Egyptian authorities since 2013, with hundreds sentenced to death in mass trials.

In its latest report, Amnesty International said Egypt's human rights crisis "continued unabated," with "torture and other ill-treatment" becoming routine.

Last month, American citizen Moustafa Kassem died in an Egyptian prison after a year-long hunger strike, casting a spotlight on Egypt's dismal human rights record.

The death was received with outrage in Washington, as lawmakers and rights groups held both the US and Egyptian governments responsible for his death.

"I'm a former prosecutor. I would call this death a homicide," Democrat Senator Patrick Leahy said at a news conference last month.