January 25, 2018
URGENT APPEAL – THE OBSERVATORY
EGY 005 / 1117 / OBS 114.1
Judicial harassment /
Restrictions to freedom of assembly
The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing judicial harassment of 32 Nubian human rights defenders actively involved in the defence of minority and Nubian rights in the Aswan governorate, including Messrs. Mohamed Azmy, lawyer and President of the General Nubian Union, Maysara Abdoun, Training Coordinator at Border Center for Support & Consulting (BSC), and Ms. Seham Osman.
According to the information, on January 30, 2018, Messrs. Mohamed Azmy, Maysara Abdoun, Ms. Seham Osman and 29 other Nubian rights activists will appear before the Aswan Misdemeanour State Security Emergency Court under charges of “participating in an unauthorised protest”, “inciting protests” and “disrupting public order” on the basis of the 107/2013 protest law. If convicted, they could face up to five years in prison and fines of EGP 100,000 (4,734 Euros approx.).
Messrs. Mohamed Azmy, Maysara Abdoun, Ms. Seham Osman and the 29 other Nubian rights activists were arrested and detained throughout September and November 2017, during peaceful demonstrations demanding the rights of the Nubian minority in Egypt to be upheld as well as solidarity demonstrations following the death while in custody of Mr. Gamal Sorour, French-Egyptian resident, prominent Nubian human rights defender (see background information).
The Observatory expresses its concerns over the reprisals against rights activists defending the constitutional Nubian right of return, as well as that the exercise of their right to peaceful protest is being prosecuted by a State Security Emergency Court.