On March 9, the Vice-Chancellor of York issued a statement in support of Patrick George Zaki, an Erasmus+ student with the University of Bologna that was arrested early this February.
He was stopped by Egyptian authorities at Cairo airport, where some reports state that he has been subject to torture and interrogation under the guise of an investigation into terror-related and anti-state activity.
However, later statements conflict with this accusation of torture and the situation remains unclear.
“…aim to disturb social peace and sow chaos; incitement to protest without permission; calling for the overthrow of the state; incitement to commit violence and terrorist crimes.”Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
The statement issued by the Vice-Chancellor professed “solidarity” with other Higher Education institutions, urging “all parties to ensure that the fundamental values of academic freedom and independence are protected.”
A Human Rights group based in Cairo, EIPR, detailed Patrick’s arrest and demand his immediate release as they believe the arrest is an infringement of his human rights.
@FreePatrickGeorge, an Italian-led Facebook group advocating his innocence and abuse by the Egyptian government, posts regularly about Patrick’s condition.