THE HEAD OF THE SUPREME STATE SECURITY PROSECUTION (SSSP)
Judge Khaled Diaa el-Din, the head of Egypt's Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP), is responsible for the unlawful prosecution of thousands of Egyptians for peaceful activism, protected by international human rights law. He has kept these peaceful activists in extended and unlawful pretrial detention.
"Diaa el-Din doesn't need to persuade a judge to convict the peaceful political opponents he arrests," said DAWN Executive Director Sarah Leah Whitson, "He imposes his own punishment of endless pretrial detention."
In addition to using his prosecutorial discretion to crush peaceful dissent, Diaa el-Din is responsible for prosecutorial decisions to hold activists in extended pretrial detention. He issued prosecutorial orders to detain activists, requested judicial orders to detain them and appealed judicial decisions ordering their release from pretrial detention, keeping journalists, lawyers, intellectuals and rights activists in endless pretrial detention. Under Diaa 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 in charge of the abusive practice of bringing new charges against defendants who have already been subjected 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. The relevant Egyptian law allows the public prosecutors to order pretrial detention for renewable periods of 15 days each, for up to 150 days. Thereafter the public prosecutors may request extension of pretrial detention from a judge for no more than two years in total. Under Diaa el-Din, prosecutors repeatedly have brought new charges against defendants for the same underlying acts for which they have been held in pretrial detention as the two-year limit neared. For example, the SSSP three times 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.
Diaa el-Din is responsible for the unjust prosecution and detention of peaceful journalists, activists and lawyers such as Kholoud Said Amer, Hoda Abdel Moniem, Walid Shawky, Ibrahim Ezz el-Din, Solafa Magdy Sallam, and Khaled Dawoud.
"Khaled Diaa el-Din is an integral part of the al-Sisi government's crackdown on civil society, political pluralism and intellectual openness," Whitson said. "He has weaponized anti-terrorism laws to crush opposition to Egypt's tyrannical government."
Diaa el-Din was promoted to his current position on September 26, 2016.
On September 23, 2020, 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.
About the SSSP
The SSSP is a special agency of the Public Prosecution in Egypt that was established on March 8, 1953 in order to investigate crimes that threaten "state security". In 1972, the justice minister issued decree No. 1270 which specified the jurisdiction of the SSSP and listed the crimes it can investigate, including crimes related to internal and external security, explosives, assembly, and strikes. SSSP's mandate also includes the crimes reviewed by Emergency State Security Courts, such as terrorism, protesting, and attacks on places of worship.
However, the Egyptian authorities frequently consider peaceful dissent and criticism to be acts of terrorism. For example, the anti-terrorism law criminalizes a wide range of peaceful activities protected by international and even Egyptian human rights protections. The law uses vaguely worded accusations like "spreading false news," "misusing social media", and "joining a terrorist organization" to prosecute activists, human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers, and politicians.
Watch the video of DIaa el-Din here:
About DAWN's culprit gallery:
Tyrants need enablers who will implement their oppressive practices, even if it means abusing their fellow citizens. These agents often mask their complicity in the guise of professionals exercising their duties in offices, courtrooms, police stations, and interrogation rooms.
DAWN seeks to disclose the identity of the state agents who enable repression and to make them recognizable at home and abroad. These individuals, whom DAWN calls "culprits," bear administrative, civil, moral, legal, and/or political responsibility for human rights and international humanitarian law violations.