AFTE’s Weekly Legal Bulletin (5: 12 May 2024)|: Criminal Court Renews Detention of 8 Individuals, Including Hamed Sedeek, Despite 4 Years in pretrial detention; Misdemeanor Court Renews Detention of Mosque Servant for 15 Days

Date : Monday, 13 May, 2024
Facebook
Twitter

7 May 2024 sessions

Misdemeanor Court of Appeal

Al-Khalifa Misdemeanor Court of Appeal postponed consideration of renewing the detention of Khaled Galal Helmy till 11 May, pending investigations in Case No. 1113 of 2024, Al Darb Al-Ahmar misdemeanor, on charges of joining a terrorist group and possessing ammunition.

On 22 April, Al-Darb Al-Ahmar Misdemeanor Court renewed the detention of Khaled Galal Helmy for 15 days.  

On February 27, the North Cairo Criminal Court released Helmy and decided to replace detention with a precautionary measure. However, Rowd Al-Farag Police Station did not implement the decision, and Khaled was detained in the department until he was presented with a new case. 

Helmy is a 50-year-old mosque custodian from Sahel Rowd Al-Farag.

 

Criminal Court

The Criminal Court (First Circuit Terrorism) looked at 4 cases of 5 people and decided the following: 

 

  • Renewing the detention of Mohamed Mahmoud Amer Abdel Aziz for 45 days, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 1984 of 2021 (Supreme State Security Prosecution).

Abdel Aziz was arrested on October 15, 2021. He was subjected to enforced disappearance for 45 days in an unknown location. The national security investigation report stated that Amer had participated in a media movement attributed to the Muslim Brotherhood “terrorist group,” the same investigation that a warrant for his arrest and summons was issued. Abdel Aziz faces accusations of joining a terrorist group.

  • The court renewed the detention of Al-Tantawy’s presidential campaign member, Khaled Abdel Wahed Amin, for 45 days pending investigations of lawsuit No. 191 of 2023 (Supreme State Security) in which he’s accused of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and information that would harm public peace and order, and using a social media account to spread false news and information.

The security forces arrested Amin from his house on August 27 as part of an expanded security campaign that targeted Al-Tantawy’s supporters, members of his campaign, and his relatives and friends.

  • Moreover, it renewed the detention of Ahmed Shaker Abou Elrous and Ali Othman Ali for 45 days. Thus exceeding one year in pretrial detention over attending a football match between Al-Ahly and Ghazal El-Mahala.

The security forces arrested Abou Elrous and Ali from Cairo International Stadium on April 5. They transferred them to Nasr City prosecution, which decided to release them on bail after two days; however, the prosecution’s decision didn’t pass. On April 10, the security forces transferred them to be interrogated before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which brought new accusations against them, namely, being a part of a terrorist organization, with knowledge of its aims, committing the crime of financing a terrorist group, spreading false news and statements that would harm public security and order, using an account on social media to spread the false news and information for a terrorist purpose.

The Egyptian authorities continued to target Al-Ahly fans. In the same month, it arrested 30 other fans after a match between Al-Ahly and Al-Ragaa. After this, Al-Ahly club fans demanded a boycott of Cairo International Stadium and burned the fan cards of the Tazkarti website in protest of these arrests. Other fans were subsequently arrested; there were an estimated 39 other fans over these calls.

 

  • In addition, it renewed Hamed Sedeek’s detention for 45 extra days, even though Sedeek has been in custody for four years without bringing him to trial to prove the validity of the accusations against him, the same accusation brought against political activists without concrete evidence, namely joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and information and misusing social media.

The court’s decision came in connection with lawsuit No. 2207 of 2021 (Supreme State Security Prosecution), the second lawsuit where Sedeek is involved as a defendant. Sedeek’s arrest occurred on September 23, 2019; he was presented before the prosecution as a defendant pending the first lawsuit No. 1356 of 2019 and after three years in pretrial detention. The prosecution decided to release him; however, it re-accused him in the second lawsuit only a few days before his release. To practice “rotation,” he had to be kept in prison for a longer period.

Last April, the security forces at Badr prison assaulted the 63 years old Sedeek by beating him with a stick and stomping his face with shoes when he refused to attend his detention order hearing as he was in a poor mental state because his wife passed away and for being rotated in another lawsuit after exceeding the legal period of pretrial detention. His fellow inmates at the prison ward, lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer, political activist Ahmed Doma, and Journalist Mohamed Oxygen, tried to defend him. They were all severely beaten, and the prison warden was ordered to transfer them to the disciplinary ward wearing nothing but their underwear as they remained all day without food, drink, or medications till the following day. They were later detained in separate solitary cells without their belongings and deprived of exercise as punishment.

8 May 2024 sessions

Criminal Court

On 8 May, the Criminal Court (First Circuit Terrorism) renewed the detention of 3 persons for 45 days: 

  • The contractor, Abdel Rahaman Alwany, is pending lawsuit No. 1635 of 2022 (Supreme State Security Prosecution). 

Alwany is accused of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and information, and using social media to commit a crime. 

Security forces arrested Alwany from his house on the 1st of November 2022, and were illegally detained for a week before being brought before the prosecution.

  • Mohamed Ibrahim Abdo, pending investigations of lawsuit No. 2064 of 2023 (Supreme State Security), in which Abdo is involved in posting videos on TikTok criticizing the policies of the current president of the country.

Security forces arrested the 31-year-old Abdo from his house in Monufia Governorate on August 21; he appeared before the prosecution a week after his arrest over accusations of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and using an internet account to commit a crime.

  • The enlisted man, Sherif Ahmed Ebrahim, is for 45 days pending investigations of lawsuit No. 2064 of 2023 (State Security) in which Ebrahim is accused of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and information, and using an internet account to commit a crime.

On August 31, the 22-year-old Ebrahim was arrested after he helped a police chief shoot and publish a video on TikTok insulting the Ministry of Interior. The police chief was also arrested and held in custody in the same lawsuit.

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