Tag Archives: Egypt

Egypt: Judges postpone trials of three Egypt activists


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A leading figure in Egypt’s 2011 revolution, blogger Alaa Abdel-Fattah, appeared in court on Monday along with other co-defendants at the start of a new trial, his defence team said.

Abdel-Fattah, his lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer, another blogger Mohamed Ibrahim, and activist Yahia Hussein Abdel-Hadi face charges of “broadcasting false news” and belonging to “terrorist” groups in their trial before the Emergency State Security Court in Cairo.

The next hearing in the case was set for November 1, their lawyer Khaled Ali told the AFP news agency. Rulings in the exceptional courts are final and cannot be appealed.

Abdel-Fattah, a computer programmer and prominent figure in the uprising that toppled former leader Hosni Mubarak, has been in pre-trial detention since September 2019. He has spent most of the past decade in jail.

He was arrested in the wake of rare, night-time protests prompted by an exiled construction contractor calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on claims of corruption.

His lawyer el-Baqer and Ibrahim, also known as “Oxygen”, were also detained in a large crackdown.

The trials of the three Egyptian activists and the rights lawyer were postponed Monday, their lawyer said. They will be tried in two separate proceedings in the same courtroom.

Rights group say there are about 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt facing brutal, unhygienic conditions and overcrowded cells. In a 2019 interview with 60 Minutes on CBS, el-Sisi said there were no political prisoners in Egypt.

Activist family

The trial of Abdel-Fattah, Ibrahim and el-Baqer was postponed until November 1, while Abdel-Hadi’s was postponed to October 25, according to Ali. The judges postponed proceedings to allow defence lawyers time to review trial-related documents, he said.

The four face charges ranging from disseminating false news and misuse of social media platforms to joining a terrorist group, a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Egypt designated as a terrorist group in 2013.

Egypt’s government has in recent years waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent.

Abdel-Fattah and Ibrahim were arrested late in 2019 while on probation amid a sweeping security clampdown following small but rare anti-government protests. El-Baqer was arrested while attending a questioning session of Abdel-Fattah by prosecutors in September 2019.






https://www.ouest-france.fr/monde/egypte/egypte-ouverture-du-proces-de-figures-de-la-revolte-de-2011-b7b9d15c-3029-11ec-b653-4cec8da29c4d (FRANCAIS)

https://www.repubblica.it/esteri/2021/10/18/news/egitto_oggi_in_tribunale_alaa_abdel_fattah_il_dissidente_piu_noto-322753354/ (ITALIANO)

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Egypt: After 2 year pre-trial detention rights lawyer Mohamed Al Baqer goes to trial



Prominent Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah is to appear in court on Monday after spending more than two years in pre-trial detention, a lawyer and family members said.

Abdel-Fattah, his lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer and blogger Mohamed Ibrahim will be tried in a State Security court whose verdicts cannot be appealed, lawyer Khaled Ali said Saturday on social media.

Abdel-Fattah’s mother, Leila Soueif, said her son had been questioned in September about “spreading false news.”

“We do not know exactly what the accusations are because the lawyers haven’t been officially notified yet,” she told AFP.

His sister Mona Seif visited him Saturday at Cairo’s notorious Tora prison, where he told her the news, Soueif said.

Abdel-Fattah was a prominent figure in Egypt’s 2011 uprising against autocratic President Hosni Mubarak and had already spent time in jail before his 2019 arrest.

He and lawyer Baqer were imprisoned after rare, small-scale protests in September that year against the government of current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

They were both added to Cairo’s “terror” list late last year, a move involving a travel ban and an assets freeze.

Ibrahim, founder of the “Oxygen Egypt” blog, was arrested in September 2019 for posting protest-related videos, according to Amnesty International.

El-Sissi, a former army chief, took power in 2014 and has launched a sweeping crackdown on dissent, with rights groups estimating that Egypt holds about 60,000 political prisoners.

Pre-trial detention can last up to two years under Egyptian law, but detainees are often kept waiting behind bars for longer.








https://www.i24news.tv/fr/actu/international/moyen-orient/1634403576-l-egypte-jugera-lundi-des-figures-centrales-de-la-revolte-de-2011 (FRANCAIS)

Afghan Lawyer Latifa Sharifi Selected Recipient of the 2021 UIA/LexisNexis Rule of Law Award


Ms Latifa Sharifi, an Afghan lawyer of the Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan (HAWCA), a historic Afghan women’s association, was designated recipient of the 2021 UIA Rule of Law Award in cooperation with LexisNexis by the UIA Governing Board.

Ms. Sharifi was among the three Finalists of the Award selected by the Nomination Committee, along with prominent human rights lawyers Mohamed El-Baqer (Egypt) and Saif Ul-Malook (Pakistan), both of whom have consistently demonstrated unrelenting dedication and commitment to upholding the Rule of Law and human rights, despite overwhelming personal and professional hardships, including great risk to their personal safety and that of their families.

As a lawyer, Ms Latifa Sharifi particularly assisted women victims of domestic violence in divorce proceedings and helped them find refuge. Because of her defense of women, Ms Sharifi has repeatedly been threatened and intimidated because of her professional activities, and she has been forced to work clandestinely.

With this Award, UIA and LexisNexis recognize Ms. Sharifi’s courageous commitment to ensuring effective access to justice to women, a commitment for which she is regrettably in imminent danger of retaliation.

Ms Sharifi was refouled at Kabul airport on Sunday, August 15, where she went with her husband and her three children, in an attempt to flee abroad. Her youngest child was injured in the process of trying to escape the airport. Ms Sharifi is currently hiding, and she and her family remain in grave danger. 



https://patrick-henry.avocats.be/?q=node/518 (FRANCAIS)





10 rights groups stand in solidarity with members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms referred to Emergency Court


Ten human rights organizations today said they stood in full solidarity with leaders and members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, whose trial begins this Saturday, 11 September, before an Emergency State Security Criminal Court, over charges relating solely to their peaceful work in defense of victims of torture, arbitrary detention, forced disappearances and the arbitrary deprivation of the right to life.

The case (no. 1552/2018) includes 31 defendants, 14 of whom are currently in custody. While the Supreme State Security Prosecution have accused all defendants of leadership, membership or support of the Muslim Brotherhood organization, the prosecution singled out four individuals for the charge of documenting and exposing rights violations via the social media accounts of the Coordination. The four include lawyer  and former member of the State-affilaited National Council for Human Rights Hoda Abdel-Moneim; lawyer and executive director of the Coordination Ezzat Ghoneim; and lawyer Mohamed Abu-Horaira and his wife Aisha Al-Shatir. 

According to the indictment order, issued on 23 August, the four members of the Coordination are charged with “using websites to promote ideas incting the commission of terror acts, by using Facebook, Twitter and Youtube under the name of the Egyptian Coordination for Human Rights to spread alleged notions of: the involvment of the police in illegal detentions, killings, torture and the use of force; the deilberate withholding of medical care for prisoners; the complicity of judicial authorities with regard to complaints submitted about these violatons and holding their perpetrator accountable; the issuing of death sentences without evidence; and the lack of fairness guarantees in criminal trials; all with the intent of advocating the use of force and violence against state institutions in orer to disturb public order, undermine society’s safety and security, and harm national unity and social peace.”

Moreover, the four have been indicted for “publicly broadcasting, domestically and abroad, false news and statements about the internal affairs of the country, via the official accounts of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms on Facebook and Twitter, and video clips on a channel using the same name on YouTube…which had the effect of weakening the resolve of the state, disturbing public security, causing terror among people, and harming public and national interests.”  

The 10 undersigned human rights organizations consider both charges levelled against colleagues at the Coordination to be at the heart of legitimate defense of human rights, both a right and a duty, and fall under the peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression guaranteed under the Egyptian Constitution as well as international law. 





Egypt: Officer detained for assaulting lawyer at Alexandria police station


A police officer in Alexandria is being held in remand detention on charges of physically assaulting a lawyer at an Alexandria police station on Wednesday last week.

The lawyer, Islam Mohamed Ibrahim al-Danoush, suffered a fractured skull and internal bleeding in his brain and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Mostafa Kamel Armed Forces Hospital, according to a medical report that lawyers obtained from the hospital on Thursday.

His condition is currently stable though he is still receiving treatment, according to Alexandria lawyer Ashraf Abdel Mouti. In a Friday statement, the Public Prosecution said it is waiting for the lawyer’s condition to stabilize so he can be examined by the Forensic Medical Authority as part of the investigation.

The assault took place when Danoush accompanied his sister, Nagwa, to the First Montazah Police Station on Wednesday in relation to a dispute about a property that Nagwa was renting. Nagwa told Mada Masr that she held a contract for a rent-controlled property that she was not living in and had discovered that the locks were changed. After forcing her way into the property, Nagwa  found that the owners had removed all her possessions. 

Nagwa said that she and her brother, Danoush, were filing a complaint at the station about the property at the same time as the property owner was filing a report with their side of the dispute. The officer on duty, who heard both the reports, gave orders for Danoush’s sister to be taken into custody, according to both Nagwa and Mohamed Pasha, the head of the Alexandria branch of the Lawyers Syndicate.



Egypt: The Bar Association, a plaintiff and an arbiter “About the decision to form a committee to censor what lawyers publish”


On 28 July 2021, the head of the bar association issued a decision to form a committee headed by the undersecretary/deputy head of the bar. Its membership includes 13 lawyers, some of whom occupy syndicate positions, whether in the structural hierarchy of the bar council (board) or subsidiary heads.

The substantial content of the resolution is to censor, monitor and evaluate what lawyers publish on the Internet, especially on social media.

The resolution starts with an angry introductory note and ends with an explicit threat to exercise oversight and censorship through a mechanism that lacks independence and that violates the law in terms of jurisdiction and evidence.

The following points highlight the most important features of this committee, how it works and how it poses a danger to freedom of expression, as well as its usurpation of the powers/roles of oversight bodies entrusted with the investigation of crimes.

An angry prelude leads to encroachment on the law and the rules of justice:

As a justification for an exceptional decision whose prelude is also exceptional, it carries a measure of anger and lacks the necessary amount of respect for the law; such as, but not limited to, the following phrase: “because it has failed all the efforts that I personally made for a year and a half to put an end to such offences, verbal insults, lies, and obscenities and bring them back the right way…. but these attempts failed….and this encouraged others not to implement prompt justice…which is what can no longer be continued nor tolerated….”

The resolution’s prelude refers to a certain incident where the head of the bar association failed to hold those responsible accountable in accordance with the law; a complaint/report, a technical investigation, filing or shelving a criminal case, a direct prosecution, a criminal judgment/ruling, or referral to a disciplinary body. Such a failed course in a specific case- or cases- leads to the violation of the law!

The danger here lies in the idea of inclining to seek or take revenge instead of implementing justice, from an institution that showed honorable stances in defending the law, its sovereignty and the values of justice.

Objective, mechanism, proof and punishment:

The decision set a goal for the aforementioned committee: “to monitor the insults, slander, libel and defamation subjected by any lawyer (male or female) or any individual, and that are published on the Internet and social media websites alongside newspapers or any audio publications.”

According to the resolution, the committee’s role is represented in “submitting a printed copy of a certain incident monitored on social media or a newspaper, or any audio or visual publication to the bar association’s disciplinary department, which, in turn, receives complaints from lawyers or individual people and submits a note to the head of the bar”.

The penalties stipulated in the resolution:

The resolution said that that the applicable article here is Paragraph 5 of Article 13 of the Advocates Law (Lawyers’ Law), which states “He should be of good conduct, good reputation, worthy of the due respect for the profession, and that no disciplinary judgments are issued against him or that his relationship with his job, profession is cut off for reasons related to his suitability for the job he was occupying.” The decision interpreted this article as follows: “According to what was stated in the last paragraph of the same article, not meeting any of the aforementioned conditions or the eight items mentioned in the abovementioned article…” the lawyer’s membership in the bar association will be cancelled by force of law from the date of not meeting of any of these conditions” ….. Hence the penalty will be the most severe- cancelling his membership”!




https://www.anhri.info/?p=25534 (ARABIC)

https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/egypte-blijft-activisten-lastigvallen-tijdens-onderzoek-naar-buitenlandse-financiering (NEDERLANDS)

Egypt: Renewed Judicial Harassment of Rights Defenders


Human rights activist Gamal Eid is seen at a court in Cairo, March 24, 2016.

 Egyptian authorities have summoned at least five prominent human rights defenders during July 2021 for questioning as part of a decade-old criminal investigation, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have used Case 173 of 2011 to arbitrarily prosecute leading rights defenders and organizations over allegations of receiving foreign funds.

Since 2016, authorities have summoned for interrogation dozens of members of nongovernment groups, mostly human rights organizations, and placed over 30 of them on arbitrary travel ban lists, and frozen the assets of over a dozen organizations and individuals. Three of the five people summoned in July had not been questioned previously. The case has had a chilling impact on civic space in Egypt.

“Egyptian authorities should close Case 173 once and for all, and stop harassing independent rights organizations for doing their work,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The repeated summons, on top of travel bans and asset freezes, is clearly a tactic to stifle civic space in Egypt.”

Those summoned most recently include Mozn Hassan, a women’s rights defender and director of Nazra for Feminist Studies and Hossam Bahgat, director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, on July 29. On July 27, the authorities summoned Gamal Eid, director of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, and Negad al-Borie, director of the law firm United Group. On July 15, the authorities summoned Azza Soliman, women’s rights defender and director of the Center for Egyptian Women Legal Awareness. The authorities had not previously summoned Bahgat, Eid, or al-Borie despite banning them several years ago from leaving the country.

Based on social media posts and statements by the activists following the latest prosecution sessions, the questions by the investigative judge, Ali Mokhtar, focused on the activists groups’ funding, in some cases as far back as 2005.

Judge Mokhtar allowed them to look at the prosecution file, which consisted mainly of National Security Agency allegations against them and their organizations, such as “tarnishing the image of the government” and in some cases referencing reports these organizations published about human rights abuses. The judge did not allow any of them to take copies of the prosecution files or inform them of the actual charges they are being investigated for.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said in a statement that Eid’s interrogation lasted about three hours and that the judge ordered him to return for another session on August 1. The statement said that the prosecution file, which Human Rights Watch has not seen, included National Security Agency allegations that Eid and ANHRI had played a role in the country’s 2011 nationwide uprising, and that ANHRI had received funding from Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). CPJ has denied those allegations. Human Rights Watch is typically not a grant-making organization, Human Rights Watch said.







https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azza_Soliman (FRANCAIS)

https://www.giustiziainsieme.it/it/il-magistrato/1894-mahienour-el-masry-difendere-ad-ogni-costo-i-diritti-umani-in-egitto-prima-e-dopo-la-rivoluzione-del-nilo-di-federico-cappelletti (ITALIANO)

Egypt: Global Coalition Calls for Release of Detained Human Rights Lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer


Today, on the occasion of lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer’s 41st birthday, we, the undersigned organizations, urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him and strike his name from the ‘’terrorist list.’’

Mohamed El-Baqer is a human rights lawyer and the founder and director of the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms. He has been arbitrarily detained for more than 21 months without charge or trial, simply for his human rights work. El-Baqer has a long history of defending individuals whose rights have been violated, including civilians tried before military courts, protesters, and members of marginalized communities, including religious and ethnic minorities. The organization he founded focuses on criminal justice, the right to education, and minority rights. 

On 29 September 2019, El-Baqer was arrested while representing his client, imprisoned human rights activist and blogger Alaa Abdelfattah, who was detained and being interrogated by the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP). During Abdelfattah’s questioning, a prosecutor informed El-Baqer that he too was under arrest pending investigations into unfounded accusations of “joining a terrorist group,” “funding a terrorist group,” “disseminating false news undermining national security,” and “us[ing] social media to commit a publishing offense” in Case No. 1356/2019.

Nearly one year later, on 30 August 2020, El-Baqer was brought in for questioning and added to Case No. 855/2020 on nearly identical charges, in a practice by Egyptian authorities commonly known as ‘’rotation.’’ This new case includes other arbitrarily detained human rights defenders and activists such as blogger Mohamed “Oxygen”, journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah, and activist Mahienour El-Masry

Then, on 23 November 2020, the Official Gazette published the decision of the Cairo Criminal Court to include El-Baqer on the “terrorists list” for five years as a part of an entirely different case, No. 1781/2019. As a result of this designation, El-Baqer is subject to a travel ban, his assets are frozen, and he is prohibited from engaging in political or civic work for five years. In all three cases, El-Baqer has been denied due process, including the right to present a defense and challenge the lawfulness of his detention, or in Case No. 1781/2019, even be informed that he was under investigation. 

The news about El-Baqer’s “terrorists list” designation coincided with the announcement by the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) that El-Baqer and six other imprisoned Egyptian lawyers had been awarded the 2020 Human Rights Award.

The fact that El-Baqer was arrested while representing his client and that he faces the same charges as his client, thus being identified with his client’s case, is contrary to Principle 18 of the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers and shows the severity of the crackdown on human rights lawyers in Egypt. Attacks against lawyers have escalated in recent years and have included instances of arbitrary detention, torture and other ill-treatment, enforced disappearances, and numerous forms of harassment and intimidation. 




Click to access EN_20210726_Global-Coalition-Calls-for-Release-of-Detained-Egyptian-Human-Rights-Lawyer-Mohamed-El.pdf



Egypt releases activist lawyer Mahienour El-Masry, 2 journalists after pre-trial detention


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Legal sources said the release of the three came after it was confirmed that they were not charged in other cases, adding that “they have arrived their homes”

Egypt’s Public Prosecution ordered on Sunday the release of activist Mahienour El-Masry, and  journalists, Motaz Wadnan and Mostafa El-Asar, pending investigation into charges of publishing false news, a statement said.

Legal sources said the release of the three came after it was confirmed that they were not charged in other cases, adding that “they have arrived their homes.”

El-Masry, a human rights lawyer and activist who was arrested in September 2019, and El-Asar and Wadnan, who were both detained in 2018, have been accused of participating with a terrorist group in achieving its goals by publishing and broadcasting false news and statements on social media, the statement said.

Security forces had detained the three under an arrest order issued by the Public Prosecution for interrogation in the charges filed against them, the statement noted.

Their Sunday’s release came less than 24 hours after the release of journalist Gamal El-Gamal, politician Abdel-Nasser Ismail and activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah who were in pre-trial detention over charges that include joining a terrorist group.




https://www.pressenza.com/it/2021/07/egitto-tornano-in-liberta-attiviste-e-giornalisti-dopo-estenuanti-periodi-di-detenzione-preventiva/ (ITALIANO)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahienour_Al-Massry (FRANCAIS)

Egypt: The bar association… an active past, obedient present, and absent future


The 109-year-old Egyptian bar association was established in 1912. In this long journey of the bar association, for the major part of its history, the developments and setbacks in the state of public rights and freedoms is fully reflected. As an active part in the structure of the Egyptian civil society institutions, the bar association contributed and fought battles, was victorious, retreated, the authority was always present, either gently or by making a satisfying arrangement for it or by direct intervention. The goal was always to tame the bar association and make it one of the obedient institutions, even if this contradicted its original role in defending the rights and interests of its members.

The pre-1952 revolution stage

Since its inception, the bar association has been involved in one of its most important roles, in issues related to the country and to freedoms. During the 1919 revolution, the bar association was present, and it embraced the symbols of the 1919 revolution and announced its first strike in 1919 in protest against the exile of national leaders, and it was the first strike carried out by a union in Egypt.


  • Lawyers are paying a heavy price as a result of the absence of a professional union agenda, as:

– Replacing lawyers’ cases with manifestations of division, and replacing the lawyers’ unity on real union cases with daily jousting and mobilizing to support people without visions.

– Attacks on lawyers are on the rise, and so are the obstacles to their professional work.

  • Low union services and lack of real control over lawyers’ funds

– The disintegration of the sub-syndicates and making them mere small cantons with no vision or position

– Deliberate negligence when it comes to defending lawyers imprisoned in opinion cases or related to their right to freedom of expression or peaceful political action.


If this modest research paper may contribute to what is believed to be a professional and union agenda, then it points to:

1 – The need to limit the bar association’s register to freelance lawyers, and that lawyers in the public sector or in the business sector and public agencies and institutions should join the State Sector Authority or establish an independent union.

2 – That the bar association becomes in charge of its agenda by defining each year the number of accepted lawyers and the conditions for that in accordance with general, abstract rules.

3- Amalgamation of the sub-syndicates that have been fragmented, transferring services to them, and limiting the role of the general union to defending the profession’s policies.

4- Digitizing the bar’s work and linking the sub-syndicates with the general union and improving the quality and speed of services with simple and convenient electronic applications.

5- Making the defense of the independence of the judiciary one of the main priorities on the national level in the bar association.

6- Preparing a complete and independent register for lawyers working abroad that takes into account their interests and contributions to the bar association’s resources, and consequently the pension they deserve.

7- Restoring the national role of the bar association, which is related to the constitutional rights enshrined in the constitution, such as the rights to freedom of expression, the right to defense and other rights.


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