Tag Archives: Egypt

Egypt: Remedy Unlawful Arrest, Detention, and Conviction of Lawyer Mohamed Ramadan | Letter

April 21, 2017

Dear President Sisi and Ministers,

Re: Unlawful Arrest, Conviction and Detention of Lawyer Mohamed Ramadan

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers and others who promote human rights and the rule of law through advocacy, education and research. LRWC is a non-governmental organization in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC requests the Government of Egypt to immediately and unconditionally release Mohamed Ramadan and ensure that the conviction against him is vacated.  Mohamed Ramadan Mohamed Ramadan was charged under the Egyptian Counter-terrorism Law and summarily found guilty of “insulting the president, misusing social media, and inciting violence.”[1] He was sentenced in absentia on 12 April 2017 to ten years in prison, followed by five years under house arrest and a five year ban on using the internet.

The case against him was apparently fabricated by the Egyptian authorities as a response to his work representing the victims of torture by the Egyptian police. The evidence used against him in court was based on his own Facebook posts, plus posts made on fake Facebook profiles which were created by a third party to impersonate Mohamed Ramadan without his knowledge or consent. All but one of the witnesses who testified against him was a representative of the Egyptian police force.[2]

This conviction was based on Articles 1, 2, 6, 9, 18, 29(1), and 37 of the Egyptian Counter-terrorism Law – Law 94 of 2015. The law vaguely describes “terrorist act” as the “use of … threat or intimidation… for the purpose of disturbing public order … harm[ing] national unity, social peace, or national security.” This vague and overly broad definition allows the law to be used to arbitrarily criminalize internationally-protected activities such as freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and freedom of association.


Egypt/UK: Aya Hegazy and co-defendants acquitted of all charges by Egyptian court

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.



Egypt: الحبس 10 سنوات لمحام «أساء استخدام مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي»


لو كان فاتك

حكمت جنايات اﻹسكندرية دائرة 6 غيابيًا بحبس المحامي الحقوقي محمد رمضان لمدة عشر سنوات، وإلزامه بيته ومنعه من استخدام وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي لمدة خمس سنوات أخرى، وذلك على خلفية اتهامه بإهانة رئيس الجمهورية، وإساءة استخدام مواقع التواصل الاجتماعي، والتحريض على أعمال عنف.

وقالت ماهينور المصري، محامية رمضان، إن المحكمة أصدرت حكمها رغم طلب المحامية تأجيل نظر القضية لحين حضور رمضان، الذي تغيب بسبب مرضه واحتجازه في المستشفى.

وصدر الحكم بموجب قانون 94 لسنة 2015 بشأن مكافحة اﻹرهاب. وتنص المادة 37 من القانون على أن «للمحكمة في أية جريمة إرهابية فضلاً عن الحكم بالعقوبة المقررة، أن تقضي بتدابير أخرى من بينها حظر استخدام وسائل اتصال مُعينة، أو المنع من حيازتها أو إحرازها».


Today a verdict was handed down against human rights lawyer Mohamed Ramdan ( under the new terrorism law. He was condemned to 10 years in absentia, 5 years of house arrest and a 5 year ban from using the Internet

( http://www.madamasr.com/en/2017/04/12/news/u/rights-lawyer-jailed-for-10-years-issued-5-year-social-media-ban/











Egypt: Gamal Eid selected as Defender of Human Rights & Freedom of Expression for April 2017

April 10, 2017

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Maharat Foundation, and the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), in cooperation with IFEX, have selected prominent human rights defender and lawyer Gamal Eid from Egypt as the Defender of Human Rights & Freedom of Expression for the month of April 2017 as part of the campaign entitled “Supporting Human Rights Defenders and Freedom of Expression.”

Gamal Eid is one of the most important defenders of human rights and freedom of expression in Egypt and the Arab world. He has defended many journalists, opinion makers and political prisoners. He has held many honorable patriotic positions, for which he was arrested and faced political persecution.

Gamal Eid has had an important role in the human rights movement. He worked on spreading human rights culture, and he was known for his courage in defending the persecuted, for using digital expression tools for defending human rights, and for opening new spaces for journalists, bloggers and opinion makers in the Arab region.

On 28 March 2004, Gamal Eid established the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANRHI). Through ANHRI and its website, Eid worked on spreading human rights culture, increasing content in Arabic about human rights on the Internet, and presenting different points of view on several human rights issues. He also worked on defending public freedoms by exposing all forms of violations against freedom of expression and Internet freedom in Arab countries, as well as training thousands of journalists, lawyers and Internet activists on credibility, professional writing, adherence to human rights values and principles, and avoiding publishing crimes, to keep up with the rapid developments of communications and the information revolution.



http://www.gc4hr.org/news/view/1546 (ARABIC)

Egypt: Disciplinary harassment of Judges Assem Abel Gabbar and Hesham Raouf within the anti-torture bill case

April 7, 2017

OMCT Logo OMCT logo


New information

EGY 002 / 0516 / OBS 042.3

Disciplinary harassment /

Threat of dismissal /

Restrictions to freedom of association


April 7, 2017

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH, has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the disciplinary harassment of Judges Assem Abel Gabbar, former Deputy Chief Justice of the Court of Cassation, and Hesham Raouf, who sits at Cairo’s Appeal Court and former Justice Minister’s assistant, to the ‎Disciplinary Council to consider their dismissal for “engaging in political activities” during their participation in the revision of the anti-torture bill.

According to the information received, on March 30, 2017, the Supreme Judicial Council referred the two judges to the Disciplinary Council for their removal from office on accusation of “engaging in political activities”. Messrs. Assem Abel Gabbar and Hesham Raouf had collaborated with Mr Negad El-Borai, human rights lawyer and Director of the “United Group – Attorneys-at-law, Legal Advisors” (United Group)[1], in the drafting of an anti-torture bill. The first hearing is scheduled to take place on April 24, 2017.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. El-Borai is facing criminal charges of “establishing an unlicensed entity with the intent of inciting resistance wards to the authorities”, “implementing human rights activities without license”, “deliberately spreading false information with the purpose of harming public order or public interest” and “receiving funds from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC)” (see background information) in an investigation regarding the same anti-torture activity.

The Observatory considers that the aforementioned investigation and disciplinary harassment will further undermine human rights defenders’ efforts to fight against torture in the country.





Egypt: Khaled Ali, l’avocat qui défie le président égyptien

le 6 avril, 2017

Khaled Ali, le 16 janvier au Caire, après la décision de la Haute Cour administrative au sujet de Tiran et Sanafir

Immense sourire aux lèvres, Khaled Ali brandit un poing victorieux dans une salle d’audience du Caire. Avec ses collègues, l’avocat vient de gagner le procès. En cette journée de janvier, la Haute Cour administrative a annulé la rétrocession des îles de Tiran et Sanafir, promises à l’Arabie saoudite par le président Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi. Devant le tribunal, des centaines d’Egyptiens en liesse célèbrent la victoire, malgré l’interdiction de manifester.

Longue silhouette, Khaled Ali, 45 ans, a osé défier le président, malgré la chape de plomb sur le pays. Mais il sait que la bataille juridique n’est pas finie. Dimanche 2 avril, un tribunal des référés a invalidé la décision de la Haute Cour administrative, qui reconnaissait la souveraineté des deux îles inhabitées de la mer Rouge, situées à l’entrée du golfe d’Aqaba. Le sort de Tiran et de Sanafir reste en suspens. Acquis au pouvoir, le Parlement doit aussi se prononcer. Pas de quoi décourager Khaled Ali. Dès dimanche, cet acteur emblématique de la société civile a déposé une nouvelle plainte contre le président. Il est convaincu d’obtenir gain de cause.

« Force de changement »

L’affaire de Tiran et Sanafir a apporté une popularité nationale à l’avocat des ouvriers, des droits de l’homme et de la lutte anticorruption. De nombreux Egyptiens ont contacté son équipe du Centre égyptien pour les droits économiques et sociaux (ECESR), pour transmettre, parfois en cachette, archives et cartes de Tiran et Sanafir.



Egypt: Doaa Mostafa Ahmed Hassan: ‘NGO and defenders in Egypt are under severe threat’

March 20, 2017

“I am working in an increasingly restricted space: NGOs and human rights defenders in Egypt are generally coming under severe threat due to an investigation into their funding sources. A number of key human rights defenders and organisations are under threat of closure, and subject to travels bans, asset freezes and heavy prison sentences. My work as a human rights lawyer researching, documenting and defending those whose rights has been disrupted since the moment of my arrest, and I am regarded as a thorn in the side of the regime. There have been attempts to silence me on more than one occasion. I have even been detained in the Supreme State Security Prosecution Headquarters, one of the top investigating bodies in the country, where officers took me into a  room to pressure me to cease my work and intimidated me to drop the work I am doing in the defence of human rights.

I work for an organisation whose directors are targets of the regime. Our director and co-founder, Mohamed Lotfy, was subjected in 2015 to a travel ban due to his human rights activities. He was informed of the ban after trying to fly to Germany, where he was invited to give a speech to parliament about the human rights situation in the country, at the same time that the Egyptian President was meeting with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Our other co-founder, Ahmed Abdallah, was arrested from his home on 25 April 2016 and is facing charges under the counter-terrorism law for his human rights activities…”

“As a female lawyer, who comes into contact regularly with security officers, I am regularly sexually harassed by them through verbal insults. But this has not deterred me in my job, and going on a weekly and sometimes daily basis to police stations and prosecution offices to defend my clients. Also my 9-year marriage has recently ended because of the constant fear we live in. My husband could no longer take the fact that our home could be stormed by police at any point to arrest me, or anyone of my family as a means of pressuring me to stop the work I am doing. My husband asked me to switch careers even, and I found myself torn between my heart which loves this man, and my heart and mind that loves the work I do. I experienced the heartbreak of my two children, who I adore, moving in to live with their father for their own safety. But I truly believe that as long as a heavy price has been paid, there will be compensation.”

Doaa Mostafa Ahmed Hassan is a lawyer and the director of the criminal justice programme in the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms. Due to the situation in the country and the threats and criminalisation she faced because of her work, Doaa left Egypt with the support of ProtectDefenders.eu, and is currently participating in a fellowship programme with the accompaniment and collaboration of York University.