On December 2, 2013, Mahienour al-Massry organized a protest on the corniche running along the Mediterranean seafront in Alexandria, Egypt’s second city. The human rights attorney’s raven ponytail and oversized black glasses made her easy to spot amid the dozens of people with their backs turned to the sea and their eyes trained on the courthouse across the busy roadway. Inside the building, two police officers were appealing their conviction for the brutal killing of Khalid Sa‘id in 2010, one of the incidents that galvanized the 2011 uprising that brought down President Husni Mubarak. The protesters shouted: “Down with every agent of the military!”
It was not long before Alexandria’s chief of police led a contingent of black-clad officers through the traffic to the corniche. They stationed themselves not more than three feet from where the demonstrators had taken their stand. “You have ten minutes,” the chief growled into a megaphone, his amplified voice drowned out by the protesters’ calls for the execution of Mubarak and his ruling clique as well as the current president, ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.
A phalanx of riot police and a few masked officers fanned out facing the protest. “It was barely ten minutes,” al-Massry recalled, before the first water cannon spouted. The tear gas came next. Then the riot police bore down in a formation so tight it appeared they would swallow the demonstration whole. Women screamed as the policemen swung their batons. “The Interior Ministry are thugs,” they shouted in shaking voices. Al-Massry said the police were “beating us senseless. One protester had his head cut open by a masked special forces man with an American stick.” Luckily, she herself was unhurt.
le 27 septembre, 2016
[L’Observatoire] Les Oubliés (7)
Ils croupissent quelque part seuls dans une cellule sans que personne ne songent à eux…
August 26, 2016
Black coats and blood. That is all one could make out through the dust and smoke outside Quetta Civil Hospital on that gruesome August 8 morning.
As the news of the targeted killing of senior lawyer Bilal Anwar Kasi spread, the city’s enraged lawyers reached the hospital emergency ward to stage a protest. Just two months earlier, another senior lawyer and academic had been gunned down. They had had enough.
But fate played an even crueler trick. As the crowd of lawyers thickened, a suicide bomber walked into their midst and detonated lethal explosives.
“It will take us five years just to realise what we have lost,” Barkhurdar Khan, a Quetta-based lawyer tells Dawn.
From the total death toll of at least 70, 54 individuals were from the legal community. We take a closer look at the lives of these lawyers — activists, husbands, fathers and sons.
September 26, 2016
The ICJ today at the UN Human Rights Council, joined other organisations to condemn the increasing attacks aimed at deterring NGOs from exposing human rights violations.
The statement was delivered by the leading international NGO the International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), on behalf of ICJ, Amnesty International, Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA), Centros de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS), Conectas Direitos Humanos, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Programme (EHAHRDP), and Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), during a general debate on Follow up to the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (VDPA).
The organisations stated as follows:
“The failure of States to protect in these instanes is incompatible with the VDPA’s recognition of the ‘important role of non-governmental organisations in the promotion of all human rights’, that NGOs should be able to play this role ‘without interference’, and that they ‘enjoy the rights and freedoms recognised in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’.
One example of such interference is the ruling on 17 September by a Cairo Criminal Court to freeze the personal bank accounts of five Egyptian human rights defenders – Bahey el din Hassan, Hossam Bahgat, Gamal Eid, Mostafa El-Hassan, and Abdel Hafiz Tayel – as part of the ongoing investigations into case no.173, also known as the foreign funding case.
The court also froze the bank accounts of three human rights NGOs: the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Hisham Mubarak Law Center, and Center for the Right to Education.