Concern is growing for a Brisbane man who has not been seen since Egyptian authorities agreed to free him from a Cairo prison, where he has been held without charge for more than a year.
Egypt’s prosecutor-general ordered the release of Hazem Hamouda, a dual Egyptian-Australian citizen, on Tuesday.
But Mr Hamouda, 55, did not at appear at the designated time or place, his eldest daughter Lamisse Hamouda, 29, told AAP on Friday.
“It’s just like the first time when dad went missing at the airport, it’s baffling that this can happen,” she said.
“We’re exhausted and we’re disappointed, it’s been a hard blow to get our hopes up and then have them smashed.”
The former Queensland Health IT consultant was whisked away by Egyptian security minutes after touching down in Cairo for a family holiday on January 25, 2018.
He is accused of being an associate of the banned Muslim Brotherhood and spreading false information via Facebook posts, but his family say that’s nonsense.
Mr Hamouda was due to be taken to a police station for release but didn’t arrive.
No further information has been supplied to his family or legal team, who fear for Mr Hamouda’s safety and security, his lawyer Jennifer Robinson said in a statement.
“There is no lawful basis for his continued detention,” Ms Robinson said.
“We call upon Egypt to provide information about his whereabouts and to ensure his immediate release.”
Urgent appeals have been filed with the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances calling for information and Mr Hamouda’s release.
Mr Hamouda had been held in a nine-by-three metre cell with 13 other men in the notorious Tora prison, where concern was growing for his failing health.
Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was also imprisoned at Tora prison, has expressed ongoing concern about Mr Hamouda’s case since he was detained.
“Hazem’s torment of imprisonment without evidence, without trial and without due process has continued far longer than any respectable justice system should allow,” he said.
“I well understand what Hazem and his family are going through and … also urge Australia’s foreign minister Marise Payne to do all she can to find the Australian national and have him returned to his family in Brisbane.”
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