THE HEAD OF THE SUPREME STATE SECURITY PROSECUTION (SSSP)
Judge Khaled Diaa el-Din is the head of the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) which is a special branch of the public prosecution. SSSP is tasked with investigating crimes related to state security and terrorism cases among other categories of crimes.
In its report about the role of SSSP in violating the rights of detainees, Amnesty International published a detailed account of how the SSSP abuses vague national security legislation to engage in widespread and unlawful detention of activists and critics on grounds such as spreading false information about the state or using social media to spread rumors.
Diaa el-Din was promoted to his current position on September 26, 2016. As the head of the SSSP, he bears responsibility for decisions to prosecute, ordering, and renewing pretrial detention and, at a later stage in the case, requesting judicial orders to renew pretrial detention. The relevant Egyptian law allows the SSSP to order pretrial detention for renewable periods of 15 days each, for up to 150 days. Thereafter the SSSP may request extension of pretrial detention from a judge, for renewable periods of 45 days each, for up to two years in total.
Under El-Din's leadership, the SSSP exercised its prosecutorial discretion to bring criminal charges against human rights and political activists for peaceful speech and political activity, in violation of their rights to freedom of expression and association.
Diaa el-Din is also responsible for prosecutorial decisions to hold these activists in pretrial detention, by issuing prosecutorial orders to detain, requesting judicial orders to detain and appealing judicial decisions ordering release from pretrial detention. Diaa el-Din is also responsible for the abusive practice of bringing new charges against defendants who have already been subject to pretrial detention, in order to circumvent the two-year limit on pretrial detention and, in some cases, to keep people in multiple rounds of pretrial detention that lasts for years.
For example, the SSSP twice brought new or recycled charges against human rights lawyer and activist Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, ordering him back into pretrial detention, even though he had already spent years in pretrial detention for other, similar charges, all stemming from his peaceful human rights activism.
DAWN requested a response from Judge Khaled Diaa el-Din by writing to the Egyptian government, but no response has been received as of publication.