Missing German in custody of the Egyptian authorities


A German Egyptian man who has been missing in Egypt for nearly two weeks has been detained by the Egyptian authorities.

The Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed on Tuesday evening that the German embassy in Cairo had received the information about the detention following enquiries.

The 23-year-old from the northern city of Goettingen, who holds German and Egyptian passports, was arrested at the airport in Cairo and has not been seen since.

"All attempts to make contact have so far been in vain," the mother of the missing man told journalists. The family said they did not know why he was being held.

The 23-year-old Goettingen man, who has a German mother and an Egyptian father, wanted to enter Cairo with his brother on 27 December to visit his grandparents. The authorities arrested the young man at the airport, according to the family. Contacts in Cairo were able to find out that the young man was being held in "the headquarters of the intelligence agency," the mother said on Monday.

Tuesday's information from the embassy confirmed that he has indeed been detained, although not the location.

The Foreign Ministry has given no information about the whereabouts of another young man from Germany who disappeared in Egypt more than three weeks ago.

According to information received by the press, the 18-year-old is from the central city of Giessen and also has German and Egyptian citizenship. He wanted to enter Egypt via Luxor on 17 December to visit his grandfather in Cairo. Before the man was able to take his onward flight to the capital, contact was lost, his father confirmed to journalists.

There is no connection with the other missing man, he said, adding that he had only learned in the media about the missing man from Goettingen. The Egyptian government has detained tens of thousands of people for political reasons in recent years, according to human rights organisations.

Some of the most high profile cases involved dual nationals: The Egyptian state does not recognise dual nationality and treats these people as Egyptians, so that the possibilities of foreign governments having any influence are small.    (dpa)

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