Ahmed Shafiq's whereabouts 'unknown' after return to Egypt

Ahmed Shafiq's whereabouts 'unknown' after return to Egypt
3 min read
03 December, 2017
The family of Egyptian presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq said on Sunday they had lost contact with the former premier, since his deportation from the UAE to Cairo.
Shafiq's family has lost contact with him since his deportation from the UAE. [Getty]

The family of former Egyptian prime minister and presidential hopeful Ahmed Shafiq have lost contact with him since his deportation from the United Arab Emirates to Cairo on Saturday.

Shafiq was reportely arrested at his home and forced to return to Egypt days after he announced he would run for president next year.

Shafiq arrived at a military airport in Cairo on Saturday, where he was allegedly detained, The New Arab reported this weekend

His family say he was taken from their home on Saturday and flown by private plane to Cairo, with Egyptian authorities escorting him in a convoy to the airport.

"We know nothing about him since he left home yesterday," Shafiq's daughter May told Reuters.

"If he was deported he should have been able to go home by now, not just disappear. We consider him kidnapped."

The family and their lawyer said they planned to file complaints with the prosecutor's office demanding to know Shafiq's whereabouts.

"I call on the Egyptian authorities.... to allow me to meet him to check on him and confirm his arrival to Egypt," lawyer Dina Adly Hussein said in a statement on her Facebook page.

Authorities in the UAE confirm he left the the UAE without providing any further details. Egypt's foreign ministry said it was not responsible for the case.

"We do not know anything about Shafiq", an official at the interior ministry said.

"We did not arrest him and we did not receive any requests from the prosecution to arrest him or bring him back."

Shafiq announced last week that he plans to compete for the post of president in his homeland at next year's election and was preparing to return to Cairo in the coming days.

Just hours after his announcement, however, Shafiq said the UAE had barred him from leaving the country.

The UAE has denied preventing Shafiq's departure from the country.

Shafiq's candidacy could see him stand against Sisi, who has yet to officially declare his candidacy but looks all but certain to run in and dominate what should be tightly controlled elections next year.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Hassan Shoukry said on Friday that he saw "no reason" why the country's ex-premier should not run for president.

A former aviation minister and air force general, Shafiq was hastily appointed prime minister by Hosni Mubarak in 2011 before the longtime leader was ousted by a popular uprising.

Shafiq did not last long in the job after Mubarak's overthrow and in the presidential race held the following year finished close behind the winner, Morsi.

Shafiq, who left Egypt in 2012 for the UAE, was tried in absentia on corruption charges after his election defeat but was acquitted.

The UAE has been a firm supporter of President Sisi and have been linked to the military coup that overthrew Egypt's first democratically-elected government in 2013.