Tag Archives: Amnesty International

Egypt: Release human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Masry and others arrested in crackdown

October 18, 2019

ARTICLE 19

ARTICLE 19 calls for the immediate release of human rights defender and lawyer Mahienour El-Masry, who was arrested by Egyptian state security forces without formal charges on 22 September 2019.  Her arrest comes in a month where protestors, journalists, politicians, human rights defenders and lawyers have been arrested in mass crackdown on dissent, and we urge the Egyptian authorities to release all those detained for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

El-Masry’s family reported that she was kidnapped outside the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) building in Alexandria by three men and forced into a van. She was there in her capacity as a defence lawyer, for the questioning of her colleague and client Amr Nouhan and representing other protestors, who were arrested for taking part in protests earlier in the week. She is currently being held in pre-trial detention on “aiding a terrorist organization” and “spreading false news”.

Legal professionals who witnessed the kidnapping filed a claim with the Egyptian Prosecutor General, which in turn informed them that an arrest warrant had been issued against El-Masry. She has been detained awaiting trial, but the date is yet to be announced. She is currently detained in Al Qanater women’s prison and no date has been set for the investigation to resume.

El-Masry’s family informed ARTICLE 19 that she was questioned by the state security prosecution on 23 September 2019 following her arrest, and has been added to the case number 488/2019, dubbed “the whistles and horns case”, accused of “helping a terrorist group and publishing false news”. The case dates back to March 2019, and relates to terrorism charges brought against a number of protestors involved in a  demonstration in Cairo’s main train station following a fatal accident. El-Masry was not part of these protests. El-Masry remains in Al Qanater women’s prison pending investigation under this case.

Mahienour El-Masry has a long history of human rights activism in Egypt, where she has been arrested and jailed previously for protesting and speaking out on human rights issues. Her arrest and detention is part of an on-going crackdown on dissent in the last month.

https://www.article19.org/resources/egypt-release-human-rights-lawyer-mahienour-el-masry-and-others-arrested-in-crackdown/

https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/opinion/article/Egypt-s-brutal-retaliation-against-activists-14546265.php

Mahinour el-Masry

https://www.facebook.com/freemahienour/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

https://vwv.almanassa.net/ar/story/13097 (ARABIC)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/une-dfenseure-des-droits-humains-enleve-et-torture (FRANCAIS)

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/fr/avocat/mahinour-el-masry/ (FRANCAIS)

https://www.protect-lawyers.com/it/avvocato/mahinour-el-masry/ (ITALIANO)

#FreeMahienour

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South Sudan/Kenya/Tanzania: South Sudan and Kenya sued over killing of two activists

August 2, 2019

Hope For Humanity Africa and the Pan African Lawyers Union have sued the governments of South Sudan and Kenya over the abduction and possible subsequent murder of human rights lawyer Dong Samuel and activist Aggrey Idri.

The case is before the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Tanzania.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, South Sudanese lawyer, Wani Santino Jada said the complainants want explanations on circumstances that led to the disappearance and killing of both men.

Last month, Wani said, South Sudan and Kenya received official invitations from the EACJ, in which Attorney Generals of both nations were summoned to appear before the Tanzania-based court.

He added that Juba confirmed receipt of the invitation on July 18, while Nairobi confirmed receipt of the same letter on July 22.

Wan said several lawyers in the region are demanding that Juba and Nairobi be held liable for the killing of both men.

He revealed that the court had given the Attorney-Generals of the two countries 45 days to appear before the tribunal in Tanzania.

Wani stressed that the deportation of Dong and Idri from Kenya was a blatant violation of East African laws because there were no bilateral agreements between Juba and Nairobi to deport the two activists.

In May, a report submitted to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), by a panel of experts tasked to probe the conflict situation in South Sudan, revealed that both Dong and Idri were kidnapped by the Internal Security Bureau of South Sudan in Nairobi.

It said the two men were then deported to Juba and executed three days later.

Dong, a renowned South Sudanese human rights lawyer and activist, and Aggrey Idri Ezbon, a member of the opposition SPLM-IO, disappeared from the Kenyan capital on 23 and 24 January 2017.

https://radiotamazuj.org/en/news/article/south-sudan-and-kenya-sued-over-killing-of-two-activists

https://www.dropbox.com/s/9bf6hqq6p58w5q8/1%20-%20%20Statement%20of%20Reference.pdf?dl=0

MEET Advocate

https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/news/ea/South-Sudan-denies-execution-of-prominent-activists/4552908-5097446-uoxweo/index.html

https://www.voanews.com/africa/un-panel-south-sudan-killed-activists

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/04/south-sudan-investigate-apparent-2017-killing-of-activists/

https://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66958

South Sudan: Detention and Disappearance of Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri | Letter

Welcome to the East African Court of Justice

PALU

South Sudanese lawyer Wani Santino Jada of Hope for Humanity Africa (H4HA)

Pakistan/Day of the Endangered Lawyer: Junaid Hafeez: Why is Pakistani scholar’s blasphemy case receiving scant attention?

October 7, 2019

Human rights organizations are demanding the release of a 33-year-old university lecturer who has been in solitary confinement since 2014. His family told DW the blasphemy allegations were fabricated by Islamists.

Junaid Hafeez, a Pakistan lecturer in jail on blasphemy charges

Amnesty International last week demanded that Pakistani authorities immediately and unconditionally release Junaid Hafeez, a 33-year-old lecturer at the Bahauddin Zakariya University in the eastern city of Multan.

In 2013, Hafeez was charged in a blasphemy case over a Facebook page. The young lecturer has been held in solitary confinement since June 2014. If convicted, he faces the death penalty under Pakistan’s harsh blasphemy laws.

The US government has also urged Pakistani authorities to free Hafeez, with Vice President Mike Pence explicitly mentioning the lecturer’s ordeal in a July statement.

Read more: Hindus fear for their lives after Pakistan blasphemy riots

Hafeez’s ordeal

In 2010, Hafeez, a resident of Rajanpur town in Punjab province, returned to Pakistan to teach English literature at the Bahauddin Zakariya University after finishing his studies in the US. At the time of his arrest, he was already a Fulbright scholar and was appreciated for his academic work.

Hafeez’s father told DW that his son was a victim of university politics, as he was disliked by an Islamist student organization because of his liberal views.

“In 2013, the university advertised a post for a lecturer. The members of the Islamist Jamiat-e-Talaba organization told him to not apply for the job as they wanted their own people to get it,” said Hafeez-ul Naseer.

“The group launched a malicious campaign against my son, distributing pamphlets and accusing him of blasphemy. They said he was an American agent,” Naseer said.

“My son, who came back from the US to serve his country, was later arrested by police on blasphemy charges,” he added.

The ordeal of Hafeez’s family continued even after his arrest. No lawyer in Multan city wanted to take up his case.

Blasphemy is a sensitive topic in Pakistan, where 97% of its 180 million inhabitants are Muslim. Rights activists have demanded reforms of controversial blasphemy laws, which were introduced by the Islamic military dictator General Zia-ul-Haq in the 1980s. Activists say the laws have little to do with blasphemy and are often used to settle petty disputes and personal vendettas.

According to rights groups, around 1,549 blasphemy cases have been registered in Pakistan between 1987 and 2017. More than 75 people have been killed extra-judicially on blasphemy allegations. Some of them were even targeted after being acquitted in blasphemy cases by courts.

“Finally, Rashid Rehman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan took up my son’s case, but he was gunned down on May 7, 2014 in his office,” Naseer said.

Hafeez has been languishing in jail ever since. His father said the family has been living under constant fear as they could also be targeted by extremists.

https://www.dw.com/en/junaid-hafeez-why-is-pakistani-scholars-blasphemy-case-receiving-scant-attention/a-50722310

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/09/pakistan-authorities-immediately-unconditionally-release-junaid-hafeez/

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/pakistan-lecturer-accused-blasphemy-facebook-posts-must-be-released

https://www.dawn.com/news/1504700

https://thediplomat.com/2019/08/the-defiance-of-pakistani-atheists/

https://www.geo.tv/latest/251407-injustice-by-law-the-case-of-junaid-hafeez

https://www.independent.co.uk/incoming/pakistani-lawyer-rashid-rehman-murdered-after-taking-on-blasphemy-case-9341021.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/05/14/pakistan-investigate-killing-rights-lawyer

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/05/opinion/why-pakistans-blasphemy-law-must-be-abolished/

https://www.dawn.com/news/1495127

https://www.businesstoday.in/current/world/pakistan-misses-22-out-of-27-fatf-targets-but-evades-black-list-for-now/story/385456.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rashid_Rehman

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/10/09/pakistan-10th-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-2020-24-01-2020-with-the-focus-on-pakistan-a-struggle-to-protect-pakistani-lawyers-especially-against-islamic-fundamentalism-and-terrorism-basic-repo/

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/09/26/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-global-bodies-worry-over-pakistani-lawyers-safety/

https://defendlawyers.wordpress.com/2019/06/22/pakistan-day-of-the-endangered-lawyer-january-24-2020-pakistan/

DAY OF THE ENDANGERED LAWYER – 24 January 2020 – PAKISTAN

Homepage

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

https://www.amnesty.org/fr/latest/news/2019/09/pakistan-authorities-immediately-unconditionally-release-junaid-hafeez/ (FRANCAIS)

Day of the Endangered Lawyer

Russia: Mikhail Benyash fined 30,000 RUB

October 17, 2019

Mikhail Benyash

On 11 October 2019, Leninsky District Court of Krasnodar found Mikhail Benyash guilty of “exercising violence against a representative of authority” and fined him 30 000 RUB (almost 423 EUR).

On 23 September 2018, Mikhail Benyash was charged under article 318 of the Criminal Code of Russia, following his arrest on 9 September 2018 in Krasnodar where he had travelled to provide legal assistance to the participants of an unsanctioned protest against pension reform. The Investigative Committee claimed that Mikhail Benyash hit a police officer in the face three times and bit him on the arm. The human rights defender thoroughly rejects these accusations.

Mikhail Benyash is a defence lawyer who has been working on civil and criminal cases for the last ten years in Sochi and Krasnodar Region, Russia. In the context of authorities’ reluctance to sanction peaceful protests, the human rights defender has been providing legal assistance to the participants of rallies which were not officially approved. He has also attended a number of protests in order to monitor and prevent police brutality.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/judicial-harassment-mikhail-benyash

https://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.eu/articles/48748/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/04/russia-defense-lawyer-arrested-beaten

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/eur46/9295/2018/en/

Egypt: Egypt arrests a mother who enquired after her detained son

October 17, 2019

Mohamed Helmi Hamdoun, an Egyptian lawyer

After a lawyer, his wife and his brother were arrested from a café in Damanhour, a city in Lower Egypt, his mother and two sisters were also arrested after enquiring about his whereabouts.

According to a Facebook post written by Major General Helmi Hamdoun, which has now been removed, his son and lawyer Mohamed Helmi Hamdoun was with his wife Asmaa Daabes and brother Ahmed in a café in Damanhour when security forces stormed the café and arrested all three of them.

When Mohamed’s mother went to the police station to enquire about where her son was being held, police arrested her. An hour later his two sisters Fatima and Zeinab went to ask where their mother was and police arrested them also.

Helmi wrote: “I am at my house in Damanhour, waiting for rabid dogs to come.”

Mohamed is a member of the Dostour Party, which is part of a coalition of left-wing parties that called for the “Stay at Home” campaign, a boycott of the March elections in which President Abdel Fattah Al- Sisi ran against only one candidate who backed the general himself.

The Sisi regime has carried out a series of arrests against members of the party.

Besides journalists, activists and former detainees, lawyers have been one of the targets of this sweep. Earlier this week lawyer Amr Iman was arrested from his house after declaring he would start a hunger strike in solidarity with detained and tortured activists Alaa Abdul Fattah and Israa Abdelfattah.

Amr witnessed Alaa’s arrest: “This is a blatant violation against lawyers… lawyers are immune while working, just like judges and prosecutors. As a lawyer, I am afraid about getting arrested right now,” he said.

Mohamed Al-Baqer, Alaa’s lawyer, was arrested at the State Security Prosecution after he attended his client’s investigation session and award-winning human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry was arrested outside the state security prosecutor’s headquarters after representing detainees arrested during the demonstrations.

The Sisi regime has long targeted lawyers – researcher for the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, the human rights lawyer Ibrahim Ezz Al-Din has been forcibly arrested since 11 June this year.

Egypt arrests a mother who enquired after her detained son

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/egyptian-activist-says-she-was-tortured-after-authorities-abducted-her-30635

https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/10/17/egypt-institutional-insanity-new-normal

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/arrest-and-detention-human-rights-defender-and-lawyer-mohamed-ramadan

https://www.france24.com/en/20191018-un-condemns-egypt-crackdown-on-activists

U.N. rights office urges Egypt to free lawyers, activist

https://en.qantara.de/content/rights-groups-call-on-egypt-authorities-to-free-esraa-abdel-fattah

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2233

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt-rights-un/u-n-rights-office-urges-egypt-to-free-blogger-lawyer-activist-idUSKBN1WX1JZ

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

http://mubasher.aljazeera.net/news/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A7%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%90-%D8%A3%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%86-%D8%A5%D8%B6%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A8%D8%A7-%D8%B9%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%B9%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%AA%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%A5%D8%B3%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%AD (ARABIC)

https://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/2234 (ARABIC)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/gypte-lintensification-de-la-rpression-visant-les- (FRANCAIS)

https://www.amnesty.org/es/latest/news/2019/06/egypt-chilling-wave-of-arbitrary-arrests-as-authorities-intensify-crackdown-on-critics-and-opponents/ (ITALIANO)

Details of 24 hours of torture of #Israa_AbdelFattah, according to a post by Egyptian activist Mohamed Saleh:
#الحرية_لاسراء_عبد_الفتاح #الحرية_لمصطفى_الخطيب #الحرية_لعلاء_عبدالفتاح #الحرية_لمحمد_باقر #الحرية_للجدعان

(Democratic Transition & Human Rights Support – DAAM – دعم Facebook, 17/10/19)

Egypt: Egitto, sarà scarcerato l’avvocato per i diritti umani Metwaly

16/10/19

Egitto, sarà scarcerato l’avvocato per i diritti umani Metwaly

Il 15 ottobre 2019 la Procura per la sicurezza dello stato ha disposto la scarcerazione di Ibrahim Metwaly, avvocato per i diritti umani, cofondatore del gruppo delle “Famiglie degli scomparsi in Egitto” e collaboratore della Commissione egiziana per i diritti e le libertà.

Metwaly era stato fermato il 10 settembre 2017 mentre stava per imbarcarsi su un volo diretto a Ginevra, invitato dal Gruppo di lavoro delle Nazioni Unite sulle sparizioni forzate e involontarie a parlare degli scomparsi in Egitto. Egli stesso era risultato scomparso nelle 48 ore successive all’arresto, durante le quali – come riferì in seguito – era stato torturato.

L’indagine nei suoi confronti (per le tipiche accuse mosse nei confronti di chi difende i diritti umani in Egitto: diffusione di notizie false, direzione di un gruppo illegale e cospirazione con soggetti stranieri per danneggiare la sicurezza dello stato) non ha portato a nulla.

C’è ora da sperare che tra la decisione della Procura e l’effettiva scarcerazione non passi troppo tempo e che, una volta libero, Metwaly non sia sottoposto a misure cautelari.

Le buone notizie di Amnesty International Italia sono anche su Pressenza.

Egitto, sarà scarcerato l’avvocato per i diritti umani Metwaly

Egitto, sarà scarcerato l’avvocato per i diritti umani Metwaly

https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2019/10/15/caso-regeni-scarcerato-dopo-2-anni-uno-dei-legali-della-famiglia-una-speranza-per-la-verita-mentre-in-egitto-aumenta-la-repressione/5516396/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ibrahim_Metwaly (ENGLISH)

https://www.pressenza.com/es/2019/10/egipto-el-abogado-de-derechos-humanos-metwaly-sera-liberado/ (ESPANOL)

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“أمن الدولة” تخلي سبيل المحامي إبراهيم متولي بعد عامين من الحبس الاحتياطي

قال محامون، إن نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، قررت أمس الاثنين، إخلاء سبيل المحامي البارز إبراهيم متولي، مؤسس رابطة أسر المختفين قسريا.
ويأتي قرار إخلاء سبيل المحامي متولي بعد مرور آكثر من عامين على حبسه احتياطيا، وتجاوزه المدة المقررة في القانون ٢٤ شهرا.
وكانت متولي قد واجه اتهامات بتأسيس جماعة على خلاف أحكام القانون، ونشر أخبار كاذبة، بعد القبض عليه من مطار القاهرة منذ أكثر من عامين.

#دفتر_أحوال_المحاكم_والنيابات
#المفوضية_المصرية_للحقوق_والحريات
#إبراهيم_متولي

(المفوضية المصرية للحقوق والحريات Facebook, 15/10/19)

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Egypt: Egyptian Activist Mahienour el-Massry: The Cost of Persistence

October 15, 2019

Mahienour el-Massry

Human rights lawyer and activist Mahienour el-Massry, 33, was arrested on 22 September 2019 in Cairo, two days after rare protests erupted against President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s regime, and amid an unprecedented wave of arrests of potential or presumed protesters and opposition members.

El-Massry is being held in pre-trial detention on charges of aiding a terrorist organization and spreading false news – common charges in politically motivated arrests – in a revived case related to protests over the deadly train accident in February 2019 in Cairo’s central station.

It is not the first time el-Massry has been imprisoned. She was first held in 2008 in a police station in her hometown Alexandria. She became politically engaged at a young age, participating in student protests at school and university in Alexandria before joining the Kefaya movement against former President Hosni Mubarak in 2005.

In May 2014, she was handed a two-year sentence for organizing an unauthorized protest during the retrial against the police officers responsible for the death of inmate Khaled Said. Her sentence was later reduced to six months and suspended in September that year, after which she was released.

During her detention, she wrote an open letter titled ‘We shall continue’, vowing to keep on fighting until the controversial Protest Law issued in November 2013 – which effectively annihilated the right to protest – was abolished. She also pointed to class differences that determine one’s treatment even in prison, ending her letter with the call: ‘Down with this classist society’.

She was awarded the Ludovic Trarieux Human Rights Prize in 2014, while still in prison.

https://fanack.com/egypt/faces/mahienour-el-massry/

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-steps-up-brutality-with-abduction-and-torture-of-human-rights-defender/

Egypt: Israa Abdelfattah strangled in custody

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_El-Massry

https://www.amnesty.org/ar/latest/news/2019/10/egypt-steps-up-brutality-with-abduction-and-torture-of-human-rights-defender/ (ARABIC)

https://patrick-henry.avocats.be/?q=node/412 (FRANCAIS)

https://israelnoticias.com/i/medio-oriente/activista-egipto-torturada-arresto/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.pressenza.com/it/2019/10/egitto-amnesty-international-denuncia-laumento-della-brutalita-verso-i-difensori-dei-diritti-umani/ (ITALIANO)

#FreeMahienour

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“أمن الدولة” تخلي سبيل المحامي إبراهيم متولي بعد عامين من الحبس الاحتياطي

قال محامون، إن نيابة أمن الدولة العليا، قررت أمس الاثنين، إخلاء سبيل المحامي البارز إبراهيم متولي، مؤسس رابطة أسر المختفين قسريا.
ويأتي قرار إخلاء سبيل المحامي متولي بعد مرور آكثر من عامين على حبسه احتياطيا، وتجاوزه المدة المقررة في القانون ٢٤ شهرا.
وكانت متولي قد واجه اتهامات بتأسيس جماعة على خلاف أحكام القانون، ونشر أخبار كاذبة، بعد القبض عليه من مطار القاهرة منذ أكثر من عامين.

#دفتر_أحوال_المحاكم_والنيابات
#المفوضية_المصرية_للحقوق_والحريات
#إبراهيم_متولي

(المفوضية المصرية للحقوق والحريات Facebook, 15/10/19)

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