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Urgent Interventions

Abduction and incommunicado detention of Mr. Wael Abbas


EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 075

Abduction /

Incommunicado detention


May 24, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the followingsituation in Egypt.

Description of the situation:

TheObservatory has been informed by reliable sources about the abduction andincommunicado detention of Mr. WaelAbbas, journalist and human rights defender. He is theauthor of the Misrdigital blog since2006, in which he documents cases of corruption, harassment of women, policebrutality and discusses Egyptian society.

According to the information received, on May 23, 2018 at 4:30 am, Mr.Wael Abbas’ apartment was raided by heavily armed police personnel who did notpresent any warrant. Mr. Wael Abbas posted a message on his Facebook account saying he was beingarrested. He was taken blindfolded to an unknown location after they seizedcomputers, telephones, some books and several other items that belong to him.It is likely that Mr. Wael Abbas is detained in a state security facility. Hedoes not have access to his lawyer and family.

Although no official charges have been filed against him, a securityspokesman told the press that he would be accused of “joining a banned group”and “publishing false news”.

This is not the first time that Mr. Wael Abbas is targeted by theauthorities for his human rights activities, as in the past years his Facebook account had been temporarilytaken down by Egyptian authorities, and his Twitteraccount has been suspended since December 2017. In January 2018, Mr.Wael Abbas reported that this suspension waslinked to accusations of being linked to ISIS pending against him.

The Observatory strongly condemns the incommunicado detention of Mr.Wael Abbas, which significantly enhances his vulnerability to ill-treatment, andurges the Egyptian authorities to immediately disclose his whereabouts andensure he has unhindered access to his family and lawyers.

The Observatory further urges the Egyptian authorities to immediatelyand unconditionally release Mr. Wael Abbas as his detention is arbitrary andclearly aims at punishing his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory is particularly concerned as Mr. Wael Abbas is the thirdhuman rights defenders to be arrested since May 11, 2018, as Ms. Amal Fathy[1]and Mr. Haytham Mohamadein[2]remain arbitrarily detained.

Actions requested:

Pleasewrite to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical andpsychological integrity of Messrs. Wael Abbas, HaythamMohamadein, Ms.Amal Fathy and all human rightsdefenders in Egypt;

ii. Immediately andunconditionally release Messrs. Wael Abbas, HaythamMohamadein, Ms.Amal Fathy as their detention isarbitrary and merely aimed at punishing them for their human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all actsof harassment, including at the judicial level, Messrs.Wael Abbas, Haytham Mohamadein, Ms. Amal Fathy and all human rights defenders in Egypt, and ensure thatthey are able to carry out their activities without hindrance or fear ofreprisals;

iv. Conform with theprovisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by theGeneral Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially Articles1, 6(c) and 12.2; and

v. More generally, ensurein all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms inaccordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and withinternational and regional human rights instruments ratified by Egypt.


· President of the Arab Republic ofEgypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 2391 1441. Email:, Twitter:@AlsisiOfficial

· Prime Minister, Mr. Sherif Ismail. Fax: + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016.

· Minister of the Interior, Mr. MagdiAbdel-Ghaffar, Fax: +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529

· Minister of Justice, Mohamed HossamAbdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103

· Minister of Social Solidarity, GhadaWaly, Fax: +202 3337 5390

· Public Prosecutor, Counsellor NabeelSadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716

· Mr. Mohamed Fayeq, President of theNational Council For Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497 / 25747670. Email:

· H.E. Mr. Amr Ramadan, Ambassador,Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland,, Fax: +41 22 738 44 15

· Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, Belgium,Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email:

Pleasealso write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respectivecountry.


Geneva-Paris,May 24, 2018

Kindlyinform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in yourreply.

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) wascreated in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. Theobjective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations ofrepression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both membersof,the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

Tocontact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail:

· Tel and fax OMCT + 4122 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Teland fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

[1] See theObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059.1, published on May 14,2018.

[2] See theObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 069, published on May 23, 2018. @font-face { font-family: "Wingdings";}@font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}@font-face { font-family: "MS Gothic";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: "Calibri";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria";}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Gothic";}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Mincho";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }h1 { margin: 24pt 0cm 0.0001pt; page-break-after: avoid; font-size: 16pt; font-family: "Calibri", sans-serif; color: rgb(52, 90, 138); }p.MsoFootnoteText, li.MsoFootnoteText, div.MsoFootnoteText { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoHeader, li.MsoHeader, div.MsoHeader { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoFooter, li.MsoFooter, div.MsoFooter { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.MsoFootnoteReference { vertical-align: super; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: rgb(149, 79, 114); text-decoration: underline; }span.Heading1Char { font-family: "Calibri", sans-serif; color: rgb(52, 90, 138); font-weight: bold; }span.FooterChar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.HeaderChar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.FootnoteTextChar { font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; } { }span.msoins0 { }span.ww-lieninternet0 { }span.lienhypertexte1 { }span.ww-lieninternet { }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Cambria", serif; }div.WordSection1 { }ol { margin-bottom: 0cm; }ul { margin-bottom: 0cm; }

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