The University of Granada emphasises that the 3-year sentence to our student Patrick Zaki is a "new attack on freedom of expression and on the defence of human rights"
Patrick Zaki, student at the University of Granada and Egyptian activist for Coptic and LGBTI rights, has been sentenced to three years in prison by the Egyptian Emergency Security Court.
Zaki is a student enrolled at the UGR in the Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Women's and Gender Studies (GEMMA), although when he was arrested he was doing part of his studies in Bologna. Just a few days ago, he defended his Master's thesis "Media for and against public engagement" from Egypt, via videoconference with the University of Bologna, obtaining Honours.
Patrick Zaki, a GEMMA Erasmus Mundus Master scholarship holder, was arrested on February 7th, 2020 when he was returning to Egypt for a brief visit to his family after sitting his exams at the University of Bologna. He was kept in prison for no justified reason for 2 years and has remained under house arrest since 2022. Patrick had been awaiting a trial that has been continuously postponed since his arrest, and which finally took place on July 18th, being sentenced to three years in prison.
The coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Women's and Gender Studies (GEMMA), the UGR professor Adelina Sánchez, points out that "at the moment it is no longer possible to talk to Patrick, because they have confiscated his mobile phone and all his belongings".
The UGR Rector, Pedro Mercado has condemned the decision in the following statement:
"On behalf of the Governing Team of the University of Granada, we wish to express our strongest condemnation of this new attack on freedom of expression and on the defence of human rights that has led to the re-imprisonment of our student Patrick Zaki of the Erasmus Mundus Master GEMMA.
From the UGR we reiterate our firm commitment to the values on which our institution is based, our defence of human rights and academic freedom. Patrick Zaki's fight embodies these values and, for that reason, we reaffirm our strongest support and, at the same time, our strongest condemnation of this new violation of human rights".