British holidaymaker detained in Egypt for patting officer on the back
Published on Friday, February 14, 2020
A petition has been set up to free a British holidaymaker who friends say was arrested and jailed for patting an officer on the back as he was going through security in Egypt.
Family and friends of 50-year-old London businessman Tony Camoccio say he was arrested as he was leaving Hurghada airport on Saturday February 8 and has been detained in prison.
It’s reported the security official Mr Camoccio touched has accused him of sexual assault. The family claims food, water, clothes and toiletries were withheld from him for two days. After five days of being held, no charges had been made.
Family and friends had expected Mr Camoccio to be released on February 12 but were then told the police needed up to 15 days to investigate the case.
The change.org petitions says: “At customs in Hurghada airport on his outbound journey, he was at final checkpoint where he was, as a standard procedure for all outbound passengers, patted down by a security officer. Tony then gently patted the officer’s back, and is now facing serious accusations.
“He was held in a general population cell overnight where he remained in handcuffs petrified for his life as he did not know what he was supposedly being charged with or what he had done wrong. This security official…is now accusing Tony of sexual assault.”
In the update on February 12, the family said: “We were expecting him out today, should everything had been cleared, but the police are now saying they want up to 15 days more to investigate the case. The police are very uncooperative and are withholding evidence that would clear Tony of any wrongdoing.
“We are really struggling out here and receiving very little help from the embassy or our consular. He is completely innocent and have been kept in inhuman conditions. We need to make as much fuss about this as possible at home. We would appreciate if you could all contact your local MP, the press and anyone else you can think of.”
Family and friends say video evidence, which can prove his innocence, has been held back by Egyptian authorities.
Mr Camoccio was travelling with a party of 18 and had been to Egypt about 10 times. The petition says: “He enjoyed taking time over here with his family and friends and even visiting lifelong friends he made whilst in this country.”
The Foreign Office said: “We are in contact with a British man who has been arrested in Egypt.
“Our staff are in touch with his family and the Egyptian authorities.”