EGY 008 / 1019 / OBS 081.2
Threats/ Intimidation /
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 threats and acts ofintimidation against Mr. Gamal Eid, Director of the Arabic Network forHuman Rights Information (ANHRI).
Accordingto the information received, on October 31, 2019, one of ANHRI lawyer’s car wasviolently smashed by security forces at dawn. This car had been borrowed by Mr.Gamal Eid on October 30, 2019. Mr. Gamal Eid’s neighbours reported havingwitnessed seven individuals carrying firearms who stopped by the car in theevening of October 30, and called somebody mentioning the car details.
The Observatory recalls that Mr. Gamal Eid was physically assaulted onOctober 10, 2019, and that a few weeks before, his car was stolen on mainstreet during busy hours. The Observatory fears the above-mentioend acts constitute acts of harassment targeting Mr. Eid for his human rights activities.
The Observatory further recalls that Mr. Amr Imam, a human rightslawyer at ANHRI, remains detained ToraAl-Mazraa prison (seebackground information).
TheObservatory emphasises that the threats against Mr. Gamal Eid and the ongoingarbitrary detention of Mr. Amr Imam take place in the context of a wide-rangerepression targeting several human rights defenders including blogger AlaaAbdel Fattah and his lawyer, Mohamed Al Baqer, women’s rights defender Asmaa Dabees, journalist Esraa Abdel Fattahand human rights lawyer Mahienour El Massry. It should be added thatMsses. Esraa Abdel Fattah and Mahienour El Massry are both also beingprosecuted under the same criminal case, Case 488/2019.
TheObservatory expresses its utmost concern over the threats against Mr. GamalEid, and calls on the Egyptian authorities to carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigationinto the above-mentioned acts in order to identify all those responsible, bringthem before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law. The Observatory also 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.
On October 10, 2019, Mr. Gamal Eid was beaten repeatedly with thebutt of a gun by an unknown attacker who stole his cellphone, tried to stealhis backpack and fired a shot in the air while fleeing the scene with anaccomplice who had a motorcycle. The beatings resulted in a fractured rib andbruises for Mr. Gamal Eid. The incident happened on main street and duringbusy hours (between 6 and 8pm).
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.
OnOctober 17, 2019, Mr. Amr Imam appeared before State Security Prosecution and was assigned to Criminal Case 488/2019 for“collaborating with a terrorist organisation having knowledge of its goals”,“spreading false news” and “misusing one of the social networking tools”. TheProsecutor ordered a 15-day pre-trial detention against Mr. Amr Imam, who isnow detained at Tora Al-Mazraa, inwhich family visits and access to lawyer are severely restricted.
Pleasewrite to the authorities in Egypt, urging them to:
i. Guaranteein all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being ofMessrs. Gamal Eid and Amr Imam as well as of all human rights defenders inEgypt;
ii.Carry out a transparent, impartial,immediate and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned events in orderto identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal,and sanction them as provided by the law;
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, againstMessrs. Gamal Eid and Amr Imam and all human rights defenders inEgypt and ensure that they are able to carry out their activitieswithout 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.
· Presidentof the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 23911441. Email: email@example.com, Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial
· PrimeMinister, Mr. Mustafa Kemal Madbouly Mohamed. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
· Ministerof the Interior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfik, Email: email@example.com
· 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, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
· Mr. MohamedFayeq, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497/ 25747670. Email: email@example.com
· H.E.Mr. Alaa Youssef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the UnitedNations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Embassyof Egypt in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email: email@example.com
Pleasealso write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respectivecountry.
Paris-Geneva,November 1, 2019
Kindlyinform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in yourreply.
The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 byFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of thisprogramme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression againsthuman rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights DefendersMechanism implemented by international civil society.
 See Observatory UrgentAppeal EGY 004 / 0919 / OBS 075.2, published onOctober 10, 2019.
 See Observatory UrgentAppeal EGY 005 / 0919 / OBS 076.1, published onOctober 4, 2019.
 See Observatory UrgentAppeal EGY 006 / 1019 / OBS 079, published on October15, 2019.
 According to the law, access to family and lawyer is not allowed in thefirst ten days of pre-trial detention.