Basit is Free!!

August 23rd, 2018
For Immediate Release
RE: Official statement regarding Ahmed’s release from the ICE detention

Moments ago, Ahmed Abdelbasit was released from Elizabeth Detention Center following Judge Daniel Morris’ decision on Tuesday to grant him asylum. Basit came to the United States two years ago and applied for asylum due to the political persecution he faced in Egypt. In 2014 Basit was tried in absentia by an Egyptian military court and received the death sentence based on politicized charges. On April 5th, 2018, he was detained by ICE authorities and his case was sent to immigration court. Today, Basit will be released and reunited with his loved ones. He will spend his first moments of freedom with his family, friends, and students at the high school he taught at, Rising Star Academy. 

We the students of the #SaveBasit campaign would like to thank everyone for their tireless efforts in calling for Basit’s release and request for asylum. We would especially like to thank the Deputy Legal Director at Human Rights First, Anwen Hughes, Senator Bob Menendez, Senator Cory Booker, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the 6th of April movement in the US, human rights advocates across the world and last but not least The Rising Star faculty and students. The culmination of efforts resulted in the campaign’s success in attaining Ahmed’s release. 

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Ahmed AbdelBasit was an Assistant Professor in physics at the University of Cairo where he was a. Basit is currently a high school physics teacher, a father, and a community activist. The closure of the public sphere in Egypt and political detainments en masse pushed him to leave the country. Soon thereafter, he was sentenced to death in absentia.


On April 5th, 2018 Basit was detained by ICE agents without receiving notice that his asylum seeking status was denied. If Basit is to be deported, he will face the death penalty by Egyptian authorities. His human rights activism received the support of institutions like Human Rights Watch and Human Rights First.


“AbdelBasit, who was expelled from Cairo University in 2015 for organizing peaceful protests against the military’s removal of former President Mohamed Morsy and human rights abuses by the security forces, and who lives abroad, told Human Rights Watch that he believed Ghazali had mentioned his name under torture because they knew each other from the university.”