Tag Archives: Egypt

Egypt: Fears grow for 19 missing human rights activists in Egypt

November 5, 2018

Egyptian security forces entered the apartment of 60-year-old Hoda Abdelmonem, legal advisor to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECFR), and trashed her belongings
Egyptian security forces entered the apartment of 60-year-old Hoda Abdelmonem, legal advisor to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECFR), and trashed her belongings

In the early hours of Thursday morning Egyptian security forces entered the apartment of 60-year-old Hoda Abdelmonem, legal advisor to the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECFR), and trashed her belongings.

The photos widely circulated online portray overturned cupboards with her books, papers and personal items cast across the floor.

As a prominent lawyer Hoda took the same route to her office every day and appeared regularly in court which means that if authorities wanted to arrest her they could do so easily without coming to her house.

“They wanted to send a message,” says Ahmed El-Attar, a London based human rights activist – if you speak out against the government, this is what will happen to you.

Read: Egypt arrests prominent cleric, say activists

Hoda was one of 19 human rights activists – eight women and 11 men – swept up that day as the regime already well known for its mass trials, torture and vast dissemination of the death penalty escalated pressure on human rights NGOs.

Four days later the location and fate of these activists is still unknown. One of the organisations hit hard by this crackdown is the ECFR, which documents enforced disappearances and the expanding use of the death penalty.

Lawyer and former spokesperson for the ECFR was arrested in the same pre-dawn raids as Hoda, along with his wife Aisha Shatr.

A number of prominent members of the group have been targeted. In September, Executive Director of ECFR, Ezzat Ghoneim, was forcibly disappeared despite being released from Tora prison after serving a six-month prison sentence there.

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181105-fears-grow-for-19-missing-human-rights-activists-in-egypt/

https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/egypt-rights-group-halts-work-amid-arrests-20181104

https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde12/9365/2018/en/

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/31-human-rights-defenders-missing-two-weeks-egypt-1896844265

http://nena-news.it/egitto-arrestati-in-una-notte-19-difensori-per-i-diritti-umani/?fbclid=IwAR0GZCIUjk56a8g5lbpolCkTQWMrBwe_ErpzZaSYrETuzJV9GGvNR5H6kL0 (ITALIANO)

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Egypt: EZZAT GHONEIM ARRESTED

November 2, 2018

hrd_ezzat_ghneim.jpg

Human rights defender Ezzat Ghoneim disappeared from Al Haram police station 10 days after he was granted conditional release on 4 September 2018. He remained unlawfully detained until 13 September 2018, when police officers informed his wife of his alleged release. The whereabouts of the human rights defender have been unknown ever since. Cases of enforced disappearances of human rights defenders, after courts ruling in their favor, have become a frequent practice in Egypt in recent months.

Ezzat Ghoneim is a human rights defender and lawyer focusing on the right to fair trial and enforced disappearances. Since 2014, he has served as executive director of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, a human rights organisation which works on arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, freedom of expression, medical negligence and torture inside prisons.

On 4 September 2018, Ezzat Ghoneim was granted conditional release. However, Al-Haram police station refused to release him and justified the decision by stating that they were waiting for “instructions from the National Security Agency”. Even though on 13 September 2018, the human rights defender’s wife was told by police officers that her husband was released, he has not been seen ever since. The authorities are denying any link to his disappearance.

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/ezzat-ghoneim-arrested?fbclid=IwAR1P_7UYLx_6p7OJ7yjAjkq32-xR26vRYB8yacJgp-h3oWYE5vFyJAriXFQ

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20181023-egypt-issues-arrest-warrants-for-forcibly-disappeared-lawyers/

https://www.wsj.com/articles/egypt-arrests-human-rights-lawyers-as-crackdown-on-critics-intensifies-1541167137

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/egypt-rights-group-halts-work-amid-arrests-58956265

https://www.news24.com/Africa/News/egypt-rights-group-halts-work-amid-arrests-20181104

https://elnadeem.org/2018/10/11/2080/?fbclid=IwAR3Ibr95duSrV9SF1DoD8t_AAipgal1o3nnDpYrhcFFQshwvYiOxauKehAI (ARABIC)

https://www.es.amnesty.org/en-que-estamos/noticias/noticia/articulo/egipto-al-menos-19-personas-detenidas-en-una-escalada-de-la-represion-contra-activistas-de-los-der/ (ESPANOL)

https://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20181101/452682118847/una-veintena-de-detenidos-en-nueva-campana-contra-trabajadores-ddhh-en-egipto.html (ESPANOL)

http://nena-news.it/egitto-arrestati-in-una-notte-19-difensori-per-i-diritti-umani/ (ITALIANO)

ECRF, which documents enforced disappearances and the expanding use of the death penalty, has been hard hit with the crackdown. Another of those arrested three days ago is Mohamed Abu Horira, lawyer and former spokesperson for ECRF, while human rights defender Ezzat Ghoniem, the co-founder of ECRF, and Azzouz Mahgoub, another lawyer , have been forcibly disappeared since 14 September. Both were arrested in March 2018 but a court ordered their release on 4 September. However, security forces ignored the court order and instead forcibly disappeared them from prison.

In a statement published last Thursday announcing the suspension of its human rights work, ECRF cited the current climate in Egypt as incompatible with human rights work and demanded intervention by the UN Human rights Council.

(Egyptian Coordination for rights and freedoms Facebook, 04/11/18)

Urgent Statement

Egypt continues to suffer from unprecedented human rights abuses, in which both women and men are bring humiliated. The abuse has not stopped at this point, but it has now been escalated to involve all of those who defend the oppressed. At the heart of these human rights defenders is the Egyptian Coordination For Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) whose Executive Director had been arrested and his location remains unknown until now. Arrests have now extended to more ECRF members, as well as to the former member of the National Council for Human Rights
and former ECRF legal adviser team
Professor Hoda Abdel Moneim, who acts as an independent human rights defender, and some other human rights activists.

Accordingly, the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms has taken the decision to suspend its human rights work in Egypt until further notice in protest against the continued enforced disappearance of its executive director, the human rights activist and lawyer Ezzat Ghneim, and in protest against the new wave of arrests that affected a number of human rights defenders including Mrs Hoda Abdel Moneim, former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights and Mr Mohamed Abu Huraira, lawyer and former spokesman for ECRF.

We emphasize the following:
1. The human rights climate in Egypt is not conducive to the practice of any local human rights work.
2. The continued targeting of the ECRF and other human rights activists in Egypt constitutes a premeditated crime that necessitates the intervention of the UN Human Rights Council in accordance with the official agreements signed by the State of Egypt.
3 – The suspension of ECRF activity in Egypt and the absence of any local working team until this decision of suspension is considered together with any reactions to it.

The ECRF, has conducted its legal work in a framework of integrity and professionalism, but has taken this difficult decision to suspend its work despite the critical circumstances in Egypt where human rights abuses are systematic and has exceeded all conventions and customs, in order to make the parties concerned face their responsibilities.

The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) in Egypt is required, to immediately carry out its designated role, because its silence in front of the continued attack on human rights defenders is a tacit approval of these acts and suggests complicity of the NCHR in this attack.

The human rights situation in Egypt, especially with regard to the rights of detainees and human rights defenders, has been the worst in Egypt’s history in the past five years. Furthermore, the Egyptian authority has committed the most serious violations beyond all humanitarian norms including the storming of women’s homes, their detention and the arrest of their families over the past three months alone.

As we take this decision, we demand the release of all activists, human rights defenders and prisoners of conscience, starting with Mr Ezzat Ghneim and Mrs Huda Abdel Moneim. We stress that ending these unjust practices is extremely important, and even necessary to protect Egypt from the consequences of violence and tyranny.

The ECRF emphasises that it will not leave the human rights field and will continue to stand with the oppressed and be their voice for in every platform.

Egyptian Coordination For Rights and Freedoms
Cairo
November 2018

محتاجين نصمم البيان ضرووى

(Egyptian Coordination for rights and freedoms Facebook, 05/11/18)

Egypt: Egyptian security forces arrest seven female rights activists and lawyers

November 1, 2018

Prominent human rights lawyer Huda Abdelmonem among those rounded up in early-morning raids

Egyptian security forces arrested at least seven human rights lawyers and activists in early morning raids on Thursday, family members told Middle East Eye.

Those arrested included Huda Abdelmonem, a prominent human rights lawyer, who was detained by police after they raided her flat in Cairo, her family said.

Six others in the Egyptian capital were arrested in the raids, according to two rights activists who spoke to Middle East Eye.

Abdullah El Shamy, an Al Jazeera journalist and Abdelmonem’s son-in-law, posted pictures of her ransacked flat on Twitter.

Gehad Khaled, Abdelmonem’s daughter, told MEE that police spent two hours searching the lawyer’s flat in Nasr City in Cairo’s east.

Abdelmonem, 60, is a prominent human rights lawyer and activist who had a leading role in the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. She is a former member of the National Council on Human Rights.

 

Her family said in a statement that her whereabouts remain unknown. They are worried about her health, especially as she has recently been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot in the a vein in her leg affecting her movement and requiring regular medication.

Khaled told MEE that security forces burst into Abdelmonem’s flat at 1:30am when they were sleeping.

“They broke down the door, ransacked the flat and left with suitcases full of books and DVDs,” Khaled said.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/egypt-arrests-female-human-rights-activists-323456338

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/egypt-at-least-19-arrested-in-alarming-escalation-of-crackdown-on-human-rights-workers/

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/amnesty-19-rights-activists-lawyers-arrested-egypt-58905370

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/11/01/egyptian-government-should-investigate-abuses-not-attack-messenger

https://www.wsj.com/articles/egypt-arrests-human-rights-lawyers-as-crackdown-on-critics-intensifies-1541167137

https://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2018/11/02/dix-neuf-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-arretes-en-egypte-selon-amnesty-international_5377902_3212.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.letelegramme.fr/monde/egypte-19-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-arretes-selon-amnesty-international-01-11-2018-12122672.php (FRANCAIS)

https://afrique.lalibre.be/26632/egypte-19-defenseurs-des-droits-humains-arretes-selon-amnesty-international/ (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: Release of arbitrarily detained labour rights lawyer a welcome relief

October 31, 2018

Image result for haytham mohamadeen

Responding to the news that human rights and labour lawyer Haytham Mohamdeen has been released, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said:

“Amid the ongoing persecution of hundreds of peaceful activists across Egypt in recent years, Haytham Mohamdeen’s release is a small but welcome victory for human rights in the country and for all those who campaigned for his release. However, he should never have been detained in the first place.

“The valuable work of lawyers such as Haytham Mohamdeen, who defend workers calling for better labour conditions, should be applauded by the Egyptian authorities, not punished with arbitrary detention.

“The Egyptian authorities must now take urgent steps to ensure that all other human rights lawyers, activists and opposition members who are being arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association are released immediately and unconditionally.”

Haytham Mohamdeen thanked all of those who have campaigned on his case:

“I thank Amnesty International for all the solidarity and support for my case, I also thank the activists and human rights defenders that supported me. It had a huge impact in terms of enhancing my detention conditions and pushing towards my release.”

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/egypt-release-of-arbitrarily-detained-labour-rights-lawyer-a-welcome-relief/

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2018/10/31/amnesty-international-welcomes-release-of-egyptian-human-rights-lawyer

UK/Colombia/Egypt/China/Honduras etc: Occupational hazards

October 22, 2018

Turkey arrest

Lawyers all over the world risk losing their liberty – and worse – when they seek to uphold fundamental human rights. Jonathan Rayner reports

 

THE LOW DOWN
Across the world in places once deemed ‘safe’, the rule of law is under pressure to give way to populism and authoritarianism – meaning lawyers’ clients and their own support for justice are putting them personally at risk. In Colombia, 120 lawyers were murdered in 2017. President Erdogan’s crackdown in Turkey has seen 22 advocates put on trial for ‘terrorism’, and the list of countries where similar incidences are occurring is long – including China, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Venezuela, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Kenya. Yet international solidarity between lawyers is strong, and many are organising to protect and support persecuted colleagues in a battle for justice that can feel like it must be fought street-by-street.

 

English lawyers, and this is perhaps to over-dramatise matters, have been at imminent risk of violent death since 1591. That was the year that Shakespeare wrote Henry VI part two and placed the words, ‘The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers’, into the mouth of a rebellious Dick the Butcher. Some 427 years later, the Day of the Endangered Lawyer 2018 was marked by lawyers in 35 European and other cities worldwide. They were showing solidarity with their persecuted Egyptian counterparts, the same way that in the previous two years they had demonstrated their support for imperilled lawyers in China and Honduras.

Egypt, China, Honduras – three nations on three different continents. The threat to lawyers, although small in the UK, is global. Dick the Butcher’s rantings have been supplanted by something altogether more sinister: extra-judicial executions, state-sanctioned wrongful imprisonment and harassment, electronic surveillance and an autocratic disregard for the rule of law. Sir Patrick Elias, president of the Alliance for Lawyers at Risk and a retired Appeal Court judge, says the problem is widespread: ‘It flourishes wherever there are dictatorships.’

https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/features/occupational-hazards/5067998.article?fbclid=IwAR3Xzxsrzp_0Hvxfx1KKtHcYLywlN9bgLaNQk3zf-hhJURnuvojCS7RwuDQ

#DayoftheEndangeredLawyer

Egypt: Egyptian ex-lawmaker goes missing, may have been detained

October 17, 2018

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

A former Egyptian lawmaker went missing nearly three weeks ago and may have been detained by security forces, his wife said in a request sent to authorities seeking information about her husband’s whereabouts — the latest reported incident to highlight worrying incarceration practices.

Rights activists say Egyptian authorities have made dozens of people disappear in recent years as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent launched after the military overthrew President Mohammed Morsi, an elected but divisive Islamist president, in 2013.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government dismisses as unfounded accusations of its involvement, arguing that in many cases those who disappeared left their families to join Islamic militants fighting security forces in the north of Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

..

Human Rights Watch, citing figures from independent Egyptian rights campaigners, said earlier this month that authorities have made at least 230 people disappear since August 2017 and are increasingly targeting journalists and rights activists.

In yet another case, a court postponed a hearing for two lawyers from an Egyptian rights group who were detained and haven’t been seen since last month, the group said.

The Cairo Criminal court ordered the delay a day earlier in the case of lawyers Ezzat Ghoneim and Azzouz Mahgoub, whose case has in the past been handled by the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which handles alleged terrorism cases.

Ghoneim heads the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, which issued the statement. The men had been ordered released on Sept. 4 pending investigation, but have not been seen or heard from since Sept. 13.

Both Ghoneim and Mahgoub supported victims of alleged police torture, the disappeared and their families in Egypt. One such well-known case they handled was that of a woman named Oum Zubeida, who was interviewed by the BBC for a report about forced disappearances. The report had angered Egyptian authorities.

The woman had said her daughter had been victim of forced disappearance and that police tortured her in prison. The woman was later charged with spreading false information and is now in prison with the case pending.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/egyptian-lawmaker-missing-detained-58553456

https://en.qantara.de/content/egypt-denies-forced-disappearance-reports-of-former-lawmaker

https://madamasr.com/en/2018/10/21/news/u/arrest-orders-issued-for-missing-lawyers-ezzat-ghoneim-azouz-maghoub/?fbclid=IwAR0XiU78MRRTDktHnn5KWy4xbgX5slAVIWaRUNxk5rUXPpmnshduIkSJDcQ

https://www.hrw.org/fr/news/2018/10/03/egypte-un-avocat-defenseur-des-droits-humains-soumis-une-disparition-forcee (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: Metro Protests Update: Haytham Mohamadeen Conditionally Released

October 10, 2018

Photo by: Hossam El Hamalawy

Giza Criminal Court ordered the conditional release of labor lawyer Haytham Mohamadeen, Abeer Hisham, and Youssef Ahmed pending lawsuit 718/2018 State Security.
Mohamadeen, who is also a member of the revolutionary socialists Movement, and the other two defendants are accused of affiliation with a terrorist group. additionally, they are charged with calling for and participating in unauthorized protests objecting to the latest increase in Cairo Metro’s fare.

https://afteegypt.org/breaking_news-2/2018/10/10/15343-afteegypt.html?lang=en

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/detention-and-prosecution-haytham-mohamadeen

Haitham Mohamedain freed pending further investigations

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/fr/case/detention-and-prosecution-haytham-mohamadeen (FRANCAIS)

Image result for haytham mohamadeen