Shady Ghazaly Harb is a doctor and lawyer detained on charges of “joining a group established in violation to the provisions of the law and the constitution with the aim to disrupt state institutions, spread false news, and humiliating the President” for comments he made on Twitter.
On May 15, 2018, Shady Ghazaly Harb (also, Shadi al-Ghazali Harb) presented himself to the Office of the General Prosecution in Giza after receiving a summons over critical comments he made about the government on Twitter. Harb, a doctor and activist, was subsequently detained and was granted release upon payment of bail. According to his lawyer Mohamed Sayyad, Harb was transferred to Dokki Police Station to process his release. However, when Sayyad appeared to ensure Harb’s release, he learned that Harb had been transferred to the Supreme State Security Prosecution for further investigation.
On May 16, the State Security Prosecution formally ordered his detention for a 15-day period while under investigation for charges of “joining a group established in violation to the provisions of the law and the constitution with the aim to disrupt state institutions, spread false news, and humiliating the President.” Harb has remained in detention since.
According to a report by the International Federation for Human Rights: “Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb is being detained in solitary confinement at Qanater prison, where he does not have regular access to his family and lawyers. During the first fifteen days of his detention, he was denied access to a bed and he was not allowed to go outdoors.” On July 15, 2018, it was reported that the conditions of Harb’s imprisonment had once again deteriorated following his transferal to a new cell within Qanater prison that was “very dirty, hot, and no ventilation is available.”
Although a surgeon by profession, Harb is popularly known for his role as a youth activist in the 2011 protests against the regime of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. In 2010, he was arbitrarily detained by security forces while attempting to board a flight to London. He was blindfolded throughout his 30-hour detention and questioned by unidentified figures about his political activities as a member of the opposition Democratic Front Party (DFP), of which his uncle was the leader.