The daughter of Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq, who declared his intention to run in Egypt’s 2018 presidential elections, says his family and lawyer have not been able to contact him since he was deported from the United Arab Emirates and boarded a flight to Cairo on Saturday.
“Until this moment, we, his daughters, do not know anything about him. Even his lawyer is unable to reach him and communicate with him in person. She can’t reach him on the phone or even get any information from him,” Amira told Mada Masr in a telephone interview from Abu Dhabi, where the family has been residing since 2012 after Shafiq, a former senior commander in the Egyptian Air Force and prime minister, narrowly lost the 2012 presidential elections to former President Mohamed Morsi.
Shafiq’s disappearance comes less than a week after he announced his intention to run in the 2018 presidential elections in a video statement on November 29 . Following his announcement, Shafiq released another video later the same day, in which he claimed that he had been prevented from leaving the UAE “for reasons I don’t understand.” However, Emirati authorities denied Shafiq’s claim.
“It is utterly untrue that Shafiq went to the airport by his own will or that he was made to believe that he would be traveling to any country other than Egypt,” says Amira.
Shafiq’s daughter says she was present when the authorities came to their home and told Shafiq that he was “to leave to Cairo immediately against his will.”
ِAfter his arrest from his home in Abu Dhabi, Emirati media released a photo of Shafiq sitting in a private plane to confirm reports that he was leaving the country. A few hours later, BBC reported that Shafiq had arrived at Cairo International Airport and had left from the senior visitors airport lounge.
However, Amira asserts that Shafiq never reached his home in New Cairo’s Fifth Settlement neighborhood.
“We were able to confirm that he never so much as passed by our house,” says Amira. “We emphasize that nobody has seen him since he arrived to Cairo.”
According to Amira, Emirati authorities have confirmed that Shafiq has in fact arrived in Cairo.
Following Shafiq’s deportation, the UAE has affirmed that his family can remain in the country without risk of facing the same fate.
Amira also denies rumors that her father’s passport was taken from him by UAE authorities several weeks ago. “I know that he traveled last night using his passport,” she says.
In the meantime, state-owned media have published a series of accusation against the presidential hopeful, including a claim published by the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper that Shafiq’s lawyer is negotiating a deal with television networks affiliated to the banned Muslim Brotherhood to promote Shafiq’s candidacy during the elections.
“Ahmed Shafiq is being detained in clear violation of his legal rights as a citizen,” says Amira. “We will not accept the violation of his citizenry rights. We will knock on all doors.”