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Urgent Interventions

Arbitrary detention of Mr. Mohamed Basheer, Administrative Manager of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights


EGY 006 / 1120 / OBS 127

Arbitrary detention /

Judicial harassment

November 16,

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a jointpartnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requestsyour urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Egyptian Initiativefor Personal Rights (EIPR)[1]about the arbitrary detention of Mr. MohamedBasheer, the Administrative Manager of the organisation.

According to the information received, after midnight on November 15,2020, security forces arrested Mr. MohamedBasheer at his house, in Cairo. He was then brought to an unidentified StateSecurity Sector facility where he was detained for 12 hours and questionedabout the visit of several ambassadors and diplomats to EIPR on November 3,2020 during which the improvement of human rights in Egypt and globally wasdiscussed. After this interrogation, he appeared in the Supreme State SecurityProsecution (SSSP) in the Fifth Settlement district, where he was questionedabout EIPR’s work, its latest publications and its legal aid work.

Subsequently, the SSSP charged Mr. Basheer with “joining aterrorist organisation with knowledge of its purposes”, “using a personalaccount on the internet to spread false information that undermines publicsecurity”, “committing one of the crimes of funding terrorism”, “broadcastingfalse news and statements that undermines public security” and “harmingnational interest”, and decided to remand him in custody for 15 days and toresume the questioning at a later date. The prosecution added Mr. MohamedBasheer to case n°855/2020 alongside with several other activists and humanrights professionals, including lawyers Mohammed El Baqer[2]and Mahinour El Masry[3].At the time of publication of this urgent appeal, his place of detentionremains unknown.

The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention of Mr.Mohamed Bashseer, as it seems to be only aimed at punishing him for hislegitimate human rights activities, and urges the Egyptian authorities toimmediately disclose his place of detention.

The Observatory further urges the Egyptian authorities toimmediately and unconditionally release him and to drop all charges againsthim.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity andpsychological well-being of Mr. Mohamed Basheer as well as of all other humanrights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Mohamed Basheer as wellas all other human rights defenders prosecuted under the same case;

iii. Put an end to any form of harassment, including at the judiciallevel, against Mr. Mohamed Basheer as well as all human rights defenders inEgypt;

iv. Conform to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, inparticular with Articles 1, and 12.2;

v. Ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in allcircumstances, in accordance with international human rights standards andinternational instruments to which Egypt is a State party.


Presidentof the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 23911441. Email:, Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial

PrimeMinister, Mr. Mustafa Kemal Madbouly Mohamed.

Ministerof the Interior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfik, Email:

Ministerof Justice, Mr. Mohamed Hossam Abdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103

PublicProsecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716

Headof the Egyptian parliament’s Human Rights Committee, Mr. Alaa Abed,

Mr. MohamedFayeq, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497/ 25747670. Email:

H.E.Mr. Alaa Youssef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UnitedNations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email:

Embassyof Egypt in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Egypt in yourrespective countries.


Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2020

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of thisappeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of HumanRights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is toprevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDHand OMCT are both members of, the EuropeanUnion Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civilsociety.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:


TelFIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18

TelOMCT +41 (0) 22 809 49 39

[1] The EgyptianInitiative for Personal Rights has been working since 2002 to strengthen andprotect basic rights and freedoms in Egypt, through research, advocacy andsupporting litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic and socialrights, and criminal justice.

[2] See JointstatementInternational NGOs callfor the immediate release of human rights defenders Mohamed El-Baqer and AlaaAbdel Fattah on the first anniversary of their arrest’,published on September 29, 2020

[3] See the ObservatoryUrgent Appeal EGY 003 / 0919 / OBS 074, published on September 23, 2019.

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