Lt. General Mahmoud Hegazy
In August 2013, Egyptian security forces attacked a protest in support of ex-President Morsi in Rab’a al- Adawiya Square, in Cairo. More than 817 demonstrators, including women and children, were killed during the event, and numerous acts of torture are alleged to have occurred.
On 19 July 2018, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s judgment, considering that special mission immunity was a rule of customary international law, and that the Metropolitan Police’s refusal to arrest Lt. General Hegazy had been lawful.
The Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) learned that Lt. General Hegazy, director of the Egyptian Military Intelligence Service in 2013, would be visiting the United Kingdom in September 2015. The FJP requested that the Metropolitan Police arrest him during his visit.
The Metropolitan Police refused on the grounds that the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office had granted him special mission immunity. Lt. General Hegazy subsequently left the country.
In 2016, four claimants – including the FJP, former ministers of the FJP government, and a British surgeon who worked in emergency field hospitals in Egypt – submitted an application for judicial review of the decision not to arrest Lt. General Hegazy. REDRESS and Amnesty International intervened in the proceedings.
On 5 August 2016, the High Court confirmed the decision of the Metropolitan Police not to arrest Mahmoud Hegazy on the grounds that he benefited from special mission immunity. The claimants appealed the findings of the High Court.