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Criminal Court renews the detention of the human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 45 days after more than one year and a half in pre-trial detention

Publish Date : Monday, 5 December, 2022
Last Update : Sunday, 21 April, 2024
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17 April 2024

After one year in pre-trial detention, the Cairo Criminal Court (Third Circuit Terrorism) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 45 days pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 Supreme State Security.

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on 7 November 2022 in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on 11 November 2022. El-Helw was illegally detained for 6 days till he appeared before the prosecution, facing accusations of joining a terrorist group.

4 March 2024: After more than one year in pre-trial detention, the Criminal Court renews the detention of rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 45 days

After one year in pre-trial detention, the Cairo Criminal Court (First Circuit Terrorism) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 45 days pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 Supreme State Security.

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on 7 November 2022 in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on 11 November 2022. El-Helw was illegally detained for 6 days till he appeared before the prosecution, facing accusations of joining a terrorist group.

6 December 2023

On December 6 and after one year in pre-trial detention, the Criminal Court (First Circuit) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 45 days pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 Supreme State Security.

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on November 7 in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on November 11. El-Helw was illegally detained for 6 days till he appeared before the prosecution facing accusations of joining a terrorist group.

25 October 2023 

On October 25, the Criminal Court (First Circuit) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer, Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 45 days, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security).

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on November 7, in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on November 11; he was illegally detained for 6 days till he appeared before the prosecution against accusations of joining a terrorist group.

10 September 2023 

On September 10, the Criminal Court (First Circuit) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer, Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 45 days, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security).

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on November 7, in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on November 11; he was illegally detained for 6 days till he appeared before the prosecution against accusations of joining a terrorist group.

20 June 2023 “Criminal Court renews lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw’s detention for 45 days”

On June 20, the Criminal Court (First Circuit) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer, Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 45 days, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security).

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on November 7, in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on November 11; he was illegally detained for 6 days till he appeared before the prosecution against accusations of joining a terrorist group.

8 May 2023 “Criminal Court renews the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, who has been in pretrial detention for six months, for 45 days”

On 8 May, the Criminal Court (First Circuit) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 45 days, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security).

The human rights lawyer, who’s been providing legal aid to prisoners of conscience and political prisoners, was arrested from his house on the 7th of November against the grounds of a detention order issued against him by the Public Prosecution; his pretrial detention, which has been in place for six months now, is still being renewed without committing a crime. The investigations accused El-Helw of joining a terrorist group. 

28 March 2023 “Criminal Court renews lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw’s detention for 45 days”

On March 28, the Criminal Court (Third Circuit) decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer, Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 45 days, pending investigations of case No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security).

Security forces arrested El-Helw from his house on November 7, and after six days he appeared before the prosecution against accusations of joining a terrorist group. 

26 February 2023 “For the 8th time, the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw renewed for 15 days” 

In the hearing of February 26, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for the 8th time for 15 days, pending investigations of case No. 1940 of 2020 (Supreme State Security).

El-Helw was illegally detained for six days after his arrest took place based on a detention order issued by the Public Prosecution against him; El-Helw and several political activists were arrested during the period when the calls for the November 11 demonstrations were increasing. El-Helw is accused of joining a terrorist group against his human rights work. 

12 February 2023 “Supreme State Security Prosecution renews the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 15 days”

On February 12, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 15 days, pending investigations into case No. 1940 of 2020 (Supreme State Security).

El-Helw was arrested on November 7 based on a detention order issued by the Public Prosecution against him; he appeared before the prosecution on November 13 and faces charges of joining a terrorist group. 

29 January 2023

On January 29 hearing session, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, pending investigations into case No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security), for 15 days. 

El-Helw’s arrest came in conjunction with the random arrests by the security forces with the increasing calls for demonstrations on November 11; the forces which arrested him revealed a detention order issued by the Public Prosecution against him; he appeared six days later before the investigation authorities which charged him with joining a terrorist group. 

15 January 2023 “Supreme State Security Prosecution renews the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 15 days” 

On January 15, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw, for 15 additional days, pending investigations into case No. 1940 of 2020 (Supreme State Security).

Before his arrest, El-Helw used to provide legal aid for many political prisoners and attended with them their detention renewal hearings before the Supreme State Security and Badr Court, El-Helw’s arrest comes as a part of the security tightening measures launched by the police forces in conjunction with the calls for demonstrations on November 11. The police forces also revealed a detention order issued by the Public Prosecution against El-Helw. He faces charges of joining a terrorist group.

1 January 2023 

On January 1, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 15 days, in connection with case No. 1940 of 2020 (Supreme State Security). Although El-Helw couldn’t be transferred from his prison cell to attend the detention hearing. 

A security force arrested El-Helw on November 7 from his house in the Fifth Settlement, New Cairo, based on a detention order issued by the Public Prosecution; he was illegally detained in an unknown location for six days till he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which charged him with joining a terrorist group.

18 December 2022

On December 18, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 15 days in connection with case No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security Prosecution).

El-Helw was arrested from his house on November 7; he was detained in an unknown place till, on November 13, he appeared before the prosecution; after the interrogations, he was charged with joining a terrorist group. 

4 December 2022 

 

On December 4, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of lawyer Ahmed Nazeer El-Helw for 15 days in connection with case No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security Prosecution). 

A security force arrested El-Helw on November 7, from his house in the fifth settlement district, New Cairo, based on a detention order issued by the Public Prosecution; he was detained in an unknown location till he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution on November 13, which in turn, charged him with joining a terrorist group. 

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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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