Mr. Mohamed Faeq
President of the National Council for Human Rights
69 Giza Street, next to the Saudi Embassy building, Egypt.
Submitted for Your Kind Attention by/ Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
It is an Egyptian human rights organization registered as a law firm since 2006. It promotes the right to freedom of expression and information circulation in Egypt, especially (freedom of the press and media, freedom of creativity, digital rights, academic freedom, student rights, and freedom of information circulation). The association also works to provide legal support to victims of freedom of expression violations.
Human rights defenders in Egypt are subjected to numerous violations, most of which can be described as grave, as a punishment for their continuing -despite all restrictions and obstacles- to practice their work to stop human rights violations in Egypt and support the victims of those violations.
The violations committed against human rights defenders varied, and the authorities responsible for them varied. As the security and judicial prosecutions continued – without interruption – throughout the past decade. Among the defenders’ exposure:
Raids, arrest, enforced disappearances, torture, and physical assault, in addition to detention in violation of the law, recycling and custody in more than lawsuit at the same time, in addition to the orders to be included on the terrorist lists, including the procedures of freezing funds and banning travel.
Based on the above, AFTE calls on the National Council for Human Rights to quickly intervene and use all the powers granted to it to stop the violations that human rights defenders are subjected to, especially those violations against defenders who are being held in pretrial detention pending several lawsuits as punishment for exercising their human rights work.
The Foundation calls on the Supreme Council – more specifically – to use its powers and take advantage of the authorized access available to it to urgently stop the following violations:
- Stopping targeting of human rights defenders, as at least 19 human rights defenders are behind bars on the background of repeated charges, without evidence of the use of pretrial detention as a punishment in itself, and the incident of recycling defenders after they obtained release orders and the order was not executed, and then re-imprison them pending charges in new lawsuits, as well as Human rights defenders, are kept in solitary confinement, in poor detention conditions, which do not even meet the standards of the prison regulations.
- Contacting the Attorney General regarding defenders held pending investigations in more than one lawsuit at the same time, with the same accusations:
There are at least three human rights defenders imprisoned on more than one lawsuit at the same time. In one case, the defender it is detained is summoned for investigation before the Supreme State Security Prosecution to find itself charged in a new lawsuit. The experiments date back to the period of its detention. There are many lawsuits in which the defenders are imprisoned without referring any of them to trial or issuing orders to release them.
AFTE calls on the Supreme Council for Human Rights to play a more effective role in protecting human rights defenders and stopping violations against them. Especially in light of a general context that indicates a contrary trend regarding dealing with the human rights file in Egypt, especially the lawsuits of imprisoned defenders and the cases of foreign funding No. 173 of 2011.
Attached to you’re a list of defenders who are being held in pretrial detention pending lawsuits related to their human rights work. The lists include lawsuits numbers, charges and lengths of imprisonment, and the context of the arrest of each person on the lists.