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Urgent Interventions

Ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Mr. Amr Imam


New information

EGY 008/ 1019 / OBS 081.1

Arbitrarydetention /
Judicial harassment


October22, 2019

TheObservatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDHand the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new informationand requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.


TheObservatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrarydetention and judicial harassment of Mr. Amr Imam, human rights lawyerat the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

Accordingto the information received, on October 17, 2019, Mr. Amr Imam appeared beforeState Security Prosecution and wasassigned to Criminal Case 488/2019 for “collaborating with a terroristorganisation having knowledge of its goals”, “spreading false news” and“misusing one of the social networking tools”. The Prosecutor ordered a 15-daypre-trial detention against Mr. Amr Imam, who is now detained at ToraAl-Mazraa, in which family visits and access to lawyer are severely restricted[1].

Mr. Amr Imam wasabducted by police officers from his home in Cairo on October 16, 2019 and hisfate and whereabouts remained unknown for almost 24 hours (see backgroundinformation) before he appeared before the State Security Prosecution.

TheObservatory emphasises that the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment ofMr. Amr Imam takes place in the context of a wide-range repression targetingseveral human rights defenders including blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah andhis lawyer, Mohamed Al Baqer[2], women’s rights defender Asmaa Dabees[3], journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah[4]and human rights lawyer Mahienour El Massry[5].It should be added that Msses. Esraa Abdel Fattah and Mahienour El Massry areboth also being prosecuted under the same criminal case, Case 488/2019.

TheObservatory expresses its utmost concern over the arbitrary detention andjudicial harassment of Mr. Amr Imam and urges the Egyptian authorities toguarantee his physical integrity and psychological well-being under allcircumstances. The Observatory calls on the authorities to immediately andunconditionally release Mr. Amr Imam, as his detention seems to be only aimedat punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities, and put an end toany acts of harassment against him and all human rights defenders in Egypt.


OnOctober 16, 2019 at dawn, Mr. Amr Imam was abducted by police officers from hishome in Cairo. While Mr. Amr Imam managed to publish a brief post about hisarrest on Facebook, the security forces then refused him his right to make aphone call to his lawyer or family members. Mr. Amr Imam’s fate and whereabouts remained unknown for almost 24 hours, despiteattempts to locate him. In the previous days, Mr. Amr Imam had publiclyannounced his intention to start a hunger strike to denounce police abuses,including multiple cases of abduction and enforced disappearances, acts oftorture and ill-treatment as well as the lack of accountability from the ofpolice officers for their crimes.


Pleasewrite to the authorities in Egypt, urging them to:

i. Guaranteein all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr.Amr Imam as well as of all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii.Allow Mr. Amr Imam an immediate access to his family members and lawyer;

iii.Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Amr Imam, as his detention isarbitrary as it seems only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate humanrights activities;

iv.Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, againstMr. Amr Imam and all human rights defenders in Egypt and ensure thatthey are able to carry out their activities without hindrance;

v.Conform in all circumstances to the provisions of the Declaration on HumanRights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations GeneralAssembly, in particular its Articles 1 and 12.2.;

vi.Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedomsin accordance with international human rights instruments ratified by Egypt.


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

· Prime Minister, Mr. MustafaKemal Madbouly Mohamed. Email:

· Minister of theInterior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfik, Email:

· Minister of Justice,Mr. Mohamed Hossam Abdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103 

· Public Prosecutor,Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716

· Head of the Egyptianparliament’s Human Rights Committee, Mr. Alaa Abed, Email:

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

· H.E. Mr. AlaaYoussef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations inGeneva, Switzerland, Email:

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

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


Paris-Geneva,October 22, 2019

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

To contact the Observatory, call the emergencyline:

· E-mail:

· Tel and fax FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 5518 80

· Tel and fax OMCT +41 (0) 22 80949 39 / +41 22 809 49 29

[1] According tothe law, access to family and lawyer is not allowed in the first ten days ofpre-trial detention.

[2] SeeObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 004 / 0919 / OBS 075.2,published on October 10, 2019.

[3] SeeObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 005 / 0919 / OBS 076.1,published on October 4, 2019.

[4] SeeObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 006 / 1019 / OBS 079,published on October 15, 2019.

[5] SeeObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 003 / 0919 / OBS 074,published on September 23, 2019.

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