Statement issued by the family of Ramy Nabeel Shaath

The Egyptian authorities arrested our son Ramy Nabeel Shaath and he is still being held in the Torah jail near Cairo since July 2019. The Egyptian authorities announced yesterday that his name has been placed on the terror list of the Egyptian government, which means that he can’t travel and that the government will put its hands on his assets. Our family has tried since his arrest to contact the Egyptian authorities. We have contacted various Egyptian officials seeking his release but to no avail.

The UN Human Rights Council and other international bodies, as well as relevant human rights agencies, called on the Egyptian government to release him or to put him up to a just and fair trial. We don’t understand how Ramy can be accused of terror and he has been in Torah prison for nine months without a fair trial or respect of human rights. Our family is worried about his life especially after the spread of the Coronavirus. His family has been prevented to visit him since.

Ramy is the son of Dr. Nabil Ali Shaath, the personal representative of the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and the former Palestinian foreign minister. Ramy was born to an Egyptian mother and father. His mother, may she rest in peace, is Safaa Hussein Zaitoun and her father is from Birket al Sabaa, while her mother is from Idko in the Beheirah governorate. His father Nabil Shaath is a Palestinian with Egyptian citizenship since 1958 when the Syrian-Palestinian unification took place which was confirmed by a decree by President Gamal Abdel Naser in 1965. Nabil Shaath worked with president Gamal Abdel Naser and was appointed a lecturer at the National Institute of Top Management which reported directly to the late president Abdel Nasser.

When Ramy was born, both his parents where Egyptian and therefore he is Egyptian. This was confirmed by Egyptian courts recently. He is also Palestinian and Arab and is committed to the causes of his homeland. Ramy has not forged his citizenship as some ill-mannered persons have falsely claimed.

Therefore, Ramy is both Egyptian and Palestinian like his father. His allegiance is to Egypt and to Palestine and was never and will never be a terrorist. This not unusual to be Arab, Palestinian and Egyptian at the same time. There are hundreds of thousands of Egyptians who hold American and European and other citizenship without losing their Egyptian citizenship.

We were told that the reason for the detention of Ramy is his call for the boycott of Israel and its products in Egypt because this causes trouble to Egypt with Israel. We explained to them that the campaign is a peaceful one to pressure Israel to stop the settlement activities and to respect international law, and the signed peace agreements. This boycott campaign has branches throughout the world including in the U.S. , Europe and Israel itself. The Egyptian intelligence service has not pointed out to any terrorist act that is attributed to our son. This was later used to justify his unjust detention.

We assure everyone that our son Ramy has never, in all his life carried out any act of terror or any violation of Egyptian or Palestinian law. He has never been a member of any terrorist organization and he is committed to Egypt’s security and well being as he is about the security and the well being of Palestine. Our entire family makes this commitment as well.

Our family calls on the Egyptian government to end the arrest of our son, and to remove his name from any terror list, and to release him so that he can be with his family and so he can work for Egypt and Palestine. We also call on the Egyptian government to allow his wife Celine to return to her home and her husband in Egypt as soon as it is possible.

Palestinian journalist, former Ferris Professor at Princeton U., established @AmmanNet. Contributor to

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