Joint Statement: Immediately and unconditionally release prominent political activist Mohamed Adel

Date : Wednesday, 8 May, 2024
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The 80 undersigned human rights organizations reiterate their call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release prominent political activist and former spokesperson of the  April 6 Youth Movement, Mohamed Adel, amid mounting concern over his cruel and inhuman detention conditions and denial of adequate medical care. Mohamed Adel has already been arbitrarily detained for five years solely for exercising his rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. 

 

In March 2024, National Security Agency (NSA) officials threatened to place Mohamed Adel in solitary confinement or transfer him to a different prison with notoriously cruel detention conditions, in retaliation against his request for better prison conditions. 

 

Since 30 May 2022, the Egyptian authorities have been denying Mohamed Adel access to medical care for his various health conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, inflammation in the knee joints and chest pains that were never diagnosed due to lack of access to specialized doctors. The Gamassa prison authorities, where he is held, also deprive Mohamed Adel of access to adequate food, further negatively affecting his health. The prison authorities also continue to ban him from having access to any books in violation of the Egyptian prison laws and regulations.

 

Mohamed Adel spent five years in abusive and arbitrary pretrial detention between 2018 and 2023. In September 2023, a misdemeanour court in Aga, Mansoura governorate, convicted him of spreading “false news” on social media and sentenced him to four years in prison in a case stemming solely from his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression. According to one of his defence lawyers, Mohamed Adel will complete his prison term in September 2027, as his pretrial detention is related to investigations into a separate case into similar bogus charges.

 

Mohamed Adel is also facing other open criminal investigations in relation to the peaceful exercise of his human rights, which may enable the authorities to keep him in prison following the completion of his prison sentence.

 

The Egyptian authorities have been targeting Mohamed Adel for over a decade. Mohamed Adel already served an unjust three-year prison sentence following his wrongful conviction in relation to his participation in unauthorized protests in 2013 under the draconian Law No. 107 of 2013, which effectively criminalized peaceful protests. A year and a half after his release, during which he was subjected to abusive probation measures, he was re-arrested in June 2018 over his peaceful exercise of his human rights.
Mohamed Adel’s case shows the escalating crackdown on civic space and relentless targeting of peaceful activists in Egypt, punishing them simply for exercising their right to express their opinions in an attempt to crush any form of dissent.

 

We therefore urge the immediate and unconditional release of Mohamed Adel from detention. His case is emblematic of the authorities’ targeting of activists based on their opinions and peaceful activism. 

 

We also call on the Egyptian authorities to end the arbitrary detention and unjust prosecution of all political activists, members of opposition parties, trade unionists, workers, protesters, journalists, lawyers, social media users, and others detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their human rights. 

 

The signatory organizations

MENA

  • Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR)
  • El Nadeem Center
  • Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD)
  • Intersection Association for rights and freedoms
  • Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF)
  • Sinai Foundation for Human Rights
  • HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement 
  • MENA Rights Group 
  • The Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM)
  • Refugees Platform in Egypt 
  • Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms
  • Committee for Justice 
  • Law and Democracy Support Foundation (LDSF)
  • Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ)
  • Access Center for Human Rights (ACHR)
  • Lebanese institute for Democracy and Human Rights (LIFE)
  • Frontliners for Change (FFC)
  • Ceasar Files for Justice (FL4J)
  • Adala For All
  • EgyptWide for Human Rights
  • EuroMed Rights (EMR)
  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  • Humain Rights Tunisian League (LTDH)
  • Massar Families Association
  • Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC)
  • Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms
  • Tunisian Association defending individual liberties
  • Egyptian Network for Human Rights
  • Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
  • Rescue Committee, The Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights
  • Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) 
  • Gohoud to Support Human Rights Defenders 
  • El-Shehab For Human Rights (SHR)
  • The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)
  • Salam for Democracy and Human Rights
  • Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  • Innovation for Change MENA
  • Syrian Female Journalists Network
  • Women for Justice Foundation-WJF

Global

  • Amnesty International
  • Human Rights Watch (HRW)
  • International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  • International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)
  • Progressives for Climate 
  • International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific
  • Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights
  • Access Now
  • Fair Square
  • REDRESS
  • Freedom House
  • PEN International
  • World Movement for Democracy
  • CIVICUS
  • World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)

Africa

  • African Defenders
  • Université populaire africaine en Suisse (UPAF,ch)
  • Hope Behind Bars Africa
  • Aswat Nissa
  • The Public Interest Practice
  • KUTAKESA
  • Coalition Burundaise des Defenseurs des droits de l’Homme(CBDDH)
  • Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network 
  • Gender Centre for Empowering Development (GenCED)
  • Réseau des Défenseurs des Droits Humains en Afrique Centrale (REDHAC)
  • West African Human Rights Defenders’ Network
  • Coalition Burkinabè des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CBDDH)
  • Coalition Ivoirienne des Défenseurs des Droits Humains (CIDDH)

Asia

  • Asia Democracy Network (ADN)
  • South Asia Youth Network
  • Sri Lanka Democracy Network
  • Human Rights Hub

Latin America

  • Unidosc Mexico
  • Sindicato de Prensa de Buenos Aires (SiPreBA)
  • MARBE S.A.
  • Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)

North America 

  • FIACONA (Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America)

Europe

  • CRAN – Observatoire du racisme anti-Noir en Suisse
  • Yoga and Sport With Refugees
  • CNCD-11.11.11
  • International Partnership for Human Rights (IPHR)

 

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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

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