April 16, 2017
After more than three years in pre-trial detention, Egyptian charity founder Aya Hegazy and seven co-defendants have been acquitted today of all charges against them. BHRC looks forward to their imminent release.
Ms. Hegazy is a US-Egyptian citizen and the founder of the Belady Foundation for street children; she was arrested in May 2014 as part of a crackdown by the Egyptian government on NGOs.
BHRC has previously expressed serious concerns at the length of pre-trial detention and unreasoned refusals to grant conditional release. This case highlights systemic issues in the Egyptian criminal justice system: BHRC has co-authored an open letter to President Sisi on punitive and excessive use of pre-detention in cases of lawyers and human rights defenders. No response has been received from any member of the Egyptian government to date.
BHRC has been observing Aya Hegazy’s trial on behalf of EuroMed Rights since February 2016, and has attended almost all hearings since then. For further details of our concerns raised about the trial to date, please see our interim report.