AFTE’s Newsletter: August 2023

Date : Sunday, 3 September, 2023
Facebook
Twitter
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) shares with you the publications, statements, and campaigns it produced over the past month, in addition to the legal updates of lawsuits in which AFTE provides legal support to prisoners of conscience, or to academics who were subjected to abuse and security prosecutions for expressing their opinions.

We always welcome any inquiries or clarifications from everyone through our social media platforms or via the following email:[email protected]

Research Papers

 

Continued targeting| Profile of Manar al-Tantawy: Continued targeting over political background
 

Since 2014, academics have been exposed to an extensive and systematic violations represented in administrative investigations, disciplinary procedures, and penalties that may reach dismissal if they expressed their political opinions; universities also have undertaken roles of oversight over the personal lives of professors.

AFTE documents the violations to which Dr. Manar Al-Tantawy was exposed and is still being exposed through an endless series of investigations, disciplinary councils, and penalties, preventing her from obtaining a professorship degree despite fulfilling all the requirements and obstructing her return to the position of head of the mechanical engineering department at the institute, just for being the wife of the former political prisoner Hesham Gaafar, for more.

Advocacy

 

AFTE published a statement on the fourth anniversary of the translator and activist Marwa Arafa’s birthday inside prison, renewing its demand for the speedy release of Arafa, who did not commit any crime to face this fate. It also called on the Presidential Pardon Committee to place Arafa’s name on the list of those released soon so that she can live her normal life and take care of her child daughter, for more.


 

AFTE signed a joint statement in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Rabaa massacre, which claimed the lives of more than 817 people, including women and children, opposing the overthrow of former President Mohamed Morsi.  Despite the passage of an entire decade since this massacre, no political or military official has been legally held accountable for the grave violations that took place during the dispersal of the sit-ins, which caused the largest mass killing of demonstrators in the history of Egypt at the hands of the security, For more.


 

AFTE and various human rights organizations condemned the referral of Manar Al-Tantawy, the assistant professor at the mechanical engineering department at the 10th of Ramadan Higher Technological Institute, for investigation by the Institute’s management. This comes within the context of many continued violations and abuses against her when she demanded her legal right to assume the post of the head of the department after she apologized for the position in October 2020 for health reasons. The institute’s refusal to allow Tantawy to head the department was based on security reasons related to her being the wife of a former political prisoner. for more


 

AFTE and the undersigned organizations demand that Egyptian authorities comprehensively close lawsuit No. 173 of 2011, known as the “Foreign Funding lawsuit.” The Egyptian Ministry of Justice issued a statement announcing the dismissal of criminal cases against 75 organizations, with ten other organizations remaining under investigation and remaining under punitive measures imposed through the case, including asset freezes and travel bans. for more.


Legal Aid

 

– The Criminal Court renewed the detention the two social media content creators Ahmed Tarek Hassanein and Basma Hegazy, for 45 days, over a sarcastic video they participated in, for more.

–  The Criminal Court renewed the detention of academic Ahmed Altohamy for 45 days, Altohamy was arrested on June 3, 2020, over accusations of collaborating with the Egyptian activist Mohamed Sultan, who is residing in the United States, in the case Sultan filed against the former Prime Minister Hazem Al-Beblawy, for more.

–  the Supreme State Security Prosecution released Ahmed Hassanein Mohamed Moussa under the guarantee of his place of residence after more than three years in pretrial detention, for more.

–  the Criminal Court renewed the detention of four students aged between 17 and 19 years old, who were arrested for creating a satirical event on Facebook titled “Batman Helwan,” for 45 days, for more.

– the Criminal Court renewed the detention of translator and political activist, Marwa Arafa, for 45 days, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 570 of 2020 (Supreme State Security), in which Arafa is detained since April 2020, for more.

– the Criminal Court renewed the pretrial detention of Amr Abdel-Moneim, which exceeded four years, for 45 days, for more.

–  the Criminal Court renewed the detention of lawyer Saied Hassan Ali for 45 days, Saied appeared before the Supreme State Security pending this lawsuit after on July 7, 2021, after his release from another, for more.
–  the Criminal Court renewed the detention of student Mohamed Ahmed Saad for 45 days, pending investigations of “the Alliance of Hope lawsuit.” which included a number of political activists, although he was not involved in any political activity, for more.

–  the Criminal Court renewed the detention of the 67 years old former marketing director at Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company, Doctor Hany Soliman, for 45 days, for more.

–  the Criminal Court renewed the detention of Mohamed Mamdouh Abdel Halim pending his second lawsuit which he was listed in after a year and a half in pretrial detention, for more.

–  After exceeding 16 months in pretrial detention; Criminal Court extended TV presenter Hala Fahmy’s detention for 45 days, for more.

–  After arresting him for posting about poor living conditions; the Criminal Court renewed Mohamed Abou Mandour’s detention for 45 days, for more.

– Despite exceeding three years in pretrial detention; the Criminal Court renewed Hamed Sedeek’s detention for 45 days, for more.

– the Criminal Court renewed the detention of the two Al-Ahly football club fans, Ahmed Shaker Abou Elrous and Ali Othman Ali, they were arrested from Cairo International Stadium after a football match for Al-Ahly football club, for more.

– Cairo Criminal Court set next September 26 as a date to adjudicate lawsuit known as “Rabaa Operations Room” No. 2210 of 2014, in which journalist Hassan Al-Qabany is accused for similarity of names, for more.

– the Supreme State Security Prosecution renew the detention of two Zamalek football club fans, Amir Sayed Mohamed and Reyad Mohamed Abdel Rahaman, for 15 days, for more.

–  the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of Gamal Ziada, the father of the journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada. On August 22, a security force in civilian clothes arrested Ziada from Nahia village, Giza, the prosecution accused Ziada of spreading false news, while it didn’t confront him with any posts proving the accusation of spreading false news, as his Facebook profile is free of any political posts, and he only posts promotional materials for his work as a clothing workshop manager. for more.

– the Administrative Judiciary Court dismissed Cairo University’s appeal against the court’s ruling to appoint Hagar Ismael as a lecturer at the university’s faculty of science for lack of security approval, for more.

– the Disciplinary Council of the Teaching Staff at the Higher Technological Institute in the 10th of Ramadan City acquitted Manar Al-Tantawy, the assistant professor of the mechanical engineering department, of the accusations leveled against her of impersonating the head of the mechanical engineering department at the institute, for more.

Follow Us:

Latest Update

Joint NGO letter on the EU’s macro-financial assistance to Egypt Joint NGO letter on the EU’s macro-financial assistance to Egypt and human rights We, the undersigned Egyptian, regional and international human rights organisations, urge the European Commission and member states to uphold international and EU law to ensure that macro-financial assistance to Egypt granted under EU regulations secures concrete, measurable, structural and timebound human rights progress and reforms in the country. Since the 2013 military ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has been ruled with an iron fist. Authorities have brutally and systematically silenced peaceful dissent, nearly wiped-out independent media and civil society, repressed political opposition, adopted and enacted repressive legislation, jailed tens of thousands of actual or perceived critics and severely undermined the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession. With very little civic, judicial, or parliamentary scrutiny, the authorities have faced virtually no accountability for their repressive policies and actions. In turn, this has contributed to the government’s failure to respect, protect and fulfil people’s social and economic rights, leading to setbacks for those most affected by the recurring economic crises in the country. From February 2024 onwards, Egypt’s donors including the United Arab Emirates, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Kingdom and the European Union provided or pledged around 57 billion USD in grants and loans. As part of this process, donors should ensure that the Egyptian authorities pursue and effectively implement reforms that improve respect for human rights alongside greater transparency and accountability. Donors must also ensure that economic and fiscal measures implemented as part of these programs do not contribute to the further erosion of people’s economic and social rights, especially in light of the continuing rise in poverty rates since the adoption of the first IMF program in 2016, as well as the Egyptian government’s inadequate spending levels on social protection, health and education. Any agreed macroeconomic reforms must reflect and uphold the legal obligations of all parties with regard to economic and social rights, notably in the areas of labour rights and environmental justice, and corporate accountability. We believe that structural reforms to strengthen rule of law, guarantee fair trials, open civic space, uphold the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and media freedom, and release all those arbitrarily detained, are crucial. Not only would they comply with Egypt’s constitution and international human rights obligations, but they would also address some of the root causes of Egypt’s financial and economic instability. This instability has severely impacted the economic and social rights of millions of people in Egypt, who will ultimately carry the burden of repaying Egypt’s debts, particularly those in vulnerable and marginalised situations. We note that EU regulations require that recipients of macro-financial assistance “adhere to the respect of human rights and effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system and the rule of law,” while the European Council stipulated that a precondition for granting the Union’s macro-financial assistance is that “Egypt continues to make concrete and credible steps towards respecting effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system, and the rule of law, and guaranteeing respect for human rights.” However, what those “concrete and credible steps” should be is not defined in the Commission’s proposal. As the Commission and Egyptian authorities negotiate Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to regulate the disbursement of EU funds to Egypt up to 2027, we urge the European Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure that: 1) The MoUs lay out a roadmap for structural reforms, with public, clear, specific and timebound indicators, targets and benchmarks for Egypt to meet its human rights obligations. 2) Egyptian authorities immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. 3) Egyptian authorities open civic and political space, by respecting the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, including before, during and after the 2025 parliamentary elections. If these steps are met the EU’s macro-financial assistance will contribute to concrete and lasting progress on human rights and the rule of law in Egypt, which is indispensable to ensure transparency and accountability, end impunity and help prevent the recurrence of economic crises in the country. Failing to set human rights benchmarks would instead be a blank check for further abuses and repression in Egypt. Signatories Amnesty International Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Committee for Justice Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR) Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF) Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) EgyptWide for Human Rights EuroMed Rights International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Human Rights Watch Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC) Minority Rights Group Refugees Platform In Egypt (RPE) Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)Joint NGO letter on the EU’s macro-financial assistance to Egypt and human rights We, the undersigned Egyptian, regional and international human rights organisations, urge the European Commission and member states to uphold international and EU law to ensure that macro-financial assistance to Egypt granted under EU regulations secures concrete, measurable, structural and timebound human rights progress and reforms in the country. Since the 2013 military ousting of former president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt has been ruled with an iron fist. Authorities have brutally and systematically silenced peaceful dissent, nearly wiped-out independent media and civil society, repressed political opposition, adopted and enacted repressive legislation, jailed tens of thousands of actual or perceived critics and severely undermined the independence of the judiciary and of the legal profession. With very little civic, judicial, or parliamentary scrutiny, the authorities have faced virtually no accountability for their repressive policies and actions. In turn, this has contributed to the government’s failure to respect, protect and fulfil people’s social and economic rights, leading to setbacks for those most affected by the recurring economic crises in the country. From February 2024 onwards, Egypt’s donors including the United Arab Emirates, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the United Kingdom and the European Union provided or pledged around 57 billion USD in grants and loans. As part of this process, donors should ensure that the Egyptian authorities pursue and effectively implement reforms that improve respect for human rights alongside greater transparency and accountability. Donors must also ensure that economic and fiscal measures implemented as part of these programs do not contribute to the further erosion of people’s economic and social rights, especially in light of the continuing rise in poverty rates since the adoption of the first IMF program in 2016, as well as the Egyptian government’s inadequate spending levels on social protection, health and education. Any agreed macroeconomic reforms must reflect and uphold the legal obligations of all parties with regard to economic and social rights, notably in the areas of labour rights and environmental justice, and corporate accountability. We believe that structural reforms to strengthen rule of law, guarantee fair trials, open civic space, uphold the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and media freedom, and release all those arbitrarily detained, are crucial. Not only would they comply with Egypt’s constitution and international human rights obligations, but they would also address some of the root causes of Egypt’s financial and economic instability. This instability has severely impacted the economic and social rights of millions of people in Egypt, who will ultimately carry the burden of repaying Egypt’s debts, particularly those in vulnerable and marginalised situations. We note that EU regulations require that recipients of macro-financial assistance “adhere to the respect of human rights and effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system and the rule of law,” while the European Council stipulated that a precondition for granting the Union’s macro-financial assistance is that “Egypt continues to make concrete and credible steps towards respecting effective democratic mechanisms, including a multi-party parliamentary system, and the rule of law, and guaranteeing respect for human rights.” However, what those “concrete and credible steps” should be is not defined in the Commission’s proposal. As the Commission and Egyptian authorities negotiate Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) to regulate the disbursement of EU funds to Egypt up to 2027, we urge the European Commission, Council and Parliament to ensure that: 1) The MoUs lay out a roadmap for structural reforms, with public, clear, specific and timebound indicators, targets and benchmarks for Egypt to meet its human rights obligations. 2) Egyptian authorities immediately and unconditionally release all those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights including the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. 3) Egyptian authorities open civic and political space, by respecting the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, including before, during and after the 2025 parliamentary elections. If these steps are met the EU’s macro-financial assistance will contribute to concrete and lasting progress on human rights and the rule of law in Egypt, which is indispensable to ensure transparency and accountability, end impunity and help prevent the recurrence of economic crises in the country. Failing to set human rights benchmarks would instead be a blank check for further abuses and repression in Egypt. Signatories Amnesty International Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies Committee for Justice Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR) Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF) Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) EgyptWide for Human Rights EuroMed Rights International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) Human Rights Watch Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC) Minority Rights Group Refugees Platform In Egypt (RPE) Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)and human rights

To subscribe to AFTE’s monthly newsletter

leave your email address below