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3, Belbeis Road POBox 2834 ElHorreya 11177 Cairo, Egypt Managing Director: Helmy Abouleish

PRESS RELEASE Cairo/Berlin, 27.04.2011

Helmy Abouleish remaining in detention: First day of trial scheduled for early June The CEO of the SEKEM Group, Helmy Abouleish, who is being held on remand since 29 March 2011 by the Egyptian State Prosecutor’s Office, will remain in detention until the first trial date scheduled for 4 June. Following the revolution, Egyptian interim authorities began to vigorously prosecute members of the former government suspected of corruption or misappropriation. In a heated climate of public opinion many demand tough measures. In this context, allegations file by an anonymous party have led to the subsequent holding on remand of Helmy Abouleish, the managing director of the SEKEM Group of companies. The allegations are related to Helmy Abouleish’s role as executive director of the Egyptian Industrial Modernization Centre (IMC), the largest development fund of the country, from 2005 to 2006. A commission of experts appointed by the public prosecutor could not substantiate the allegations during its review of the case earlier this year. Its recently published final report dismisses the claims made as unfounded. However, the public prosecutor rejected a release on bail resulting in Helmy Abouleish’s subsequent detention. Further information on the grounds of this decision and his holding on remand was not given by the authorities. An extension of the detention period is possible without justification under the emergency laws still in effect in Egypt. It is not clear to what extent a clarification of the allegations can be expected on 4 June, and the potential duration of the remand remains uncertain. The allegations are not related to individual firms of the SEKEM Group or activities of the SEKEM Initiative. Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish, who has taken over executive management of the SEKEM Group in the meantime, hopes that the 4 June will bring some clarification concerning procedure and potential duration of the process. Helmy Abouleish is the CEO of the SEKEM Group, based in Cairo, Egypt. From June 2005 to December 2006 he served as Executive Director of the Industrial Modernization Centre (IMC), managing a public development fund. Endowed by the European Union and the Egyptian government with a total of € 450 million the fund aims to promote economic development specifically through grants for training and upgrading measures within industrial companies as well as practical policy advice. Helmy Abouleish has contributed significantly to the success of the IMC programs that have reached nearly 15,000 companies since 2000. Abouleish also worked to ensure that these programs support sustainable and future-oriented business practices e.g. regarding anti-corruption efforts or energy efficiency.


The SEKEM Group pioneered organic agriculture in Egypt and is producing, processing and marketing organic and bio-dynamic food, textiles and phyto-pharmaceuticals in Egypt, the Arab region, and internationally. It is part of the SEKEM-Initiative for Sustainable Development, which was founded by Dr. Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977 and was honored with the "Right Livelihood Award", also known as the "Alternative Nobel Prize", in 2003. All SEKEM companies contribute a share of their profit to the SEKEM Development Foundation running schools, a medical center and an academy for research and training in Egypt.

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Press Release on Helmy Abouleish  
Press Release on Helmy Abouleish  

Press release by SEKEM on the continued detention of Helmy Abouleish