AFTE condemns security crackdown on pro-Palestine demonstrators and calls for their immediate release

Date : Thursday, 4 April, 2024

4 April 2024

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) condemns the campaign launched by the security services at dawn on Thursday, 4 April, which resulted in the arrest of political activists and protesters after they participated in a demonstration outside the Journalists Syndicate yesterday to express their solidarity with the Palestinian cause. At least six have been arrested as of the time of releasing this statement.

Activists and journalists participated in the demonstration where they got water, salt and bread for a Ramadan iftar (fast-breaking meal) as a symbolic expression of sharing the suffering of the victims of the war waged by the Israeli occupation army on Gaza, and to condemn the policy of starving the Strip. Some participants had received threats to cancel the demonstration, which was supposed to take place on Tuesday, 2 April, due to what the Egyptian authorities considered a conflict with the presidential swearing-in ceremony that took place on the same day.

The rally has been organized periodically since the beginning of Ramadan, where participants gathered outside the Journalists Syndicate every Tuesday to express their solidarity with the Palestinian cause. Earlier in October, the syndicate organized a demonstration in solidarity with Gaza after the Al-Ahli hospital in Gaza City was targeted. Since then, protests and solidarity vigils have been staged by various political currents. Dozens have been arrested in connection with these protests.

In this context, AFTE condemns the arrest of journalists and activists for their participation in the rally staged outside the Journalists Syndicate in solidarity with the Palestinian cause. It also condemns the Egyptian authorities’ handling of pro-Palestine protests. It calls on the authorities to stop violating the right to peaceful demonstration and assembly and the right to freedom of expression, and to immediately and unconditionally release the arrested protesters.

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