Egyptian-American Mustafa Kassem passed away after more than six years of unjust detention and negligent medical care in Egypt. In 2013, he was detained after showing his American passport to Egyptian army officials when they asked for identification, then held in pretrial detention for five years, and convicted in a mass trial with no individualized evidence against him. Mustafa leaves behind his wife and two children, all of whom are American citizens. (See the CNN, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post stories on his death.)

On Wednesday, January 15, 2020, six human rights and democracy organizations held an event on Capitol Hill to address the tragic circumstances surrounding Mustafa’s death, the other Americans currently jailed in Egypt, and the dire conditions in Egypt’s prisons.


Wednesday, January 15, 2020
10:30 am – 12:00 pm

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 192
50 Constitution Ave NE, Washington, DC



Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [remarks]

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) [remarks]

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)

Rep. Peter King (R-NY)

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-NY)

Aya Hijazi, Belady Foundation

Mohamed Soltan, The Freedom Initiative

Diane Foley, James W. Foley Legacy Foundation


Sponsored by

The Freedom Initiative
Human Rights First
Human Rights Watch
James W. Foley Legacy Foundation
Pretrial Rights International
Project on Middle East Democracy


An American Tragedy: Mustafa Kassem's Needless Death in Sisi's Prison