Egypt: Daughter of detained business tycoon “Safwan Thabet” announces deterioration of his health

Mariam, daughter of businessman Safwan Thabet who is “behind bars for resisting security agency demands”, has announced in a series of tweets that the health conditions of her father have deteriorated.

Mariam expressed her concerns over the health of her 76-year-old father, Safwan Thabet, the founder, former CEO and majority shareholder of Egypt’s largest dairy products and juice producer Juhayna.

Thabet has been held in prolonged solitary confinement since his arbitrary arrest on 2 December 2020. His 40-year-old son, Seif was arrested two months later, in February 2021, and has also been held in solitary confinement in conditions that amount to torture. Prior to their arrests, Egyptian security officials had demanded they relinquish control of Juhayna’s assets, according to Amnesty International.

Bahira Elshawi, the wife of detained Egyptian businessman Safwan Thabet, died on Friday 18 March 2022 after being hospitalized, according to her daughter, Mariam Thabet, who announced her mother’s passing on Twitter, after having previously warned about her deteriorating health brought about by chemotherapy.

Mariam Thabet had also warned of the bad health conditions of her father; and once again on 21 July 2022, Mariam tweeted, saying:

I’ve become tired and unable to shut up! We’ve got news that my father’s health condition is bad! After what happened to my mother, I can’t shut up any more! Isn’t it enough that they (authorities) threatened my father to target my mother. This is what my father told me during a visit to him, knowing that this conversation was recorded, and that was after an investigation had been conducted with my mother (which lasted 10 hours). My dad literally told me:… 1/3

‘Be mindful of your mother, Mariam, for they’ve threatened me of targeting her and your brother Seif (Thabet’s eldest son) and all of you’! It is noteworthy that my mother later died out of sadness and oppression, as she had undergone an operation in one of her eyes after an artery burst! According to the doctors, her heart was weak, but she did not have time to install a stent, because we later discovered that she was suffering from stage 3 cancer! She then went into surgery 2/3

But, unfortunately, the tumors were spreading rapidly all over her body! Noting that mum had had a full check-up in September 2021, and the results were excellent! But she later died of that disease that hit her due to oppression and pressure! My father #Safwan_Thabet, the man of #national #economy, is in danger. I hold everyone involved in his unjustified imprisonment fully responsible. 3/3

“Safwan and Seif Thabet are being punished simply for daring to defy demands by Egyptian security officials to hand over their family’s assets in the company Juhayna, which is a household name in Egypt. They have shown rare courage in resisting the officials’ attempt to blackmail them. We urge the Egyptian authorities to release the two men, who should never have been arrested in the first place,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the two have been jailed in violation of due process rights without any evidence to support the charges against them.

Also, according tp HRW, Seif Thabet’s arrest came after the authorities’ failed attempt to get the family to merge their company with a military-owned dairy production company.

Maro, a Twitter user, tweeted, saying”: #Safwan_Thabet and #Seif_Thabet: They have been detained because they are clean-handed and successful people. What is the charge against them? You won’t find any. They are accused of being successful. They are accused of not being corrupt. They are accused of providing jobs for thousands of household breadwinners.

I swear by God Almighty that Mr. Safwan had told me that some projects are losing but he refused to close them, just because of the households that rely on to provide for their living. #Release them.

Sisi’s government, which came to power following a 2013 military coup, has been accused of overseeing the worst human rights crisis in Egypt’s modern history. Over 60,000 political prisoners are estimated to languish in prison, many of whom have died in custody due to poor detention conditions or medical negligence.

Sisi denies the country has any political prisoners and has justified his crackdown as part of an alleged “fight against terrorism”. But terror accusations have been consistently brought against a range of the president’s peaceful critics, as well as powerful businessmen like the Thabets.