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Urgent Interventions

Travel ban against Aida Seif El-Dawla, Director of El Nadeem Center


EGY005 / 1116 / OBS 102
Restriction to freedom of movement
November 24, 2016

The Observatory for the Protection of HumanRights Defenders, a partnership of the World Organisation Against Torture(OMCT) and FIDH, requests your urgent intervention in the following situationin Egypt.

Description of the Situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliablesources about the travel ban imposed on Ms. Aida Seif El-Dawla, Directorand one of the founders of El Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victimsof Torture and Violence.

According to the information received, onNovember 23, 2016 Ms. Seif El-Dawla was informed by airport officials about thetravel ban imposed against her. When she asked for explanation she was told togo ask the Prosecution for the reasons of this ban, since she is “either adefendant or wanted [to testify] in a criminal case”. No more information wasgiven to her.

The Observatory recalls that both theimposition of travel bans and of assets freezes against human rights defendersand organisations is a common pattern of harassment increasingly used by theEgyptian authorities against human rights defenders in the country.[1]

Moreover, the decision to impose a travel banon El Nadeem Center’s Director comes at a time of rising government pressure onindependent human rights groups in Egypt, in the context of a dramaticdeterioration of the human rights situation in the country, marked namely by agrave crackdown on civil society and a notable increase in cases of torture,deaths in detention and enforced disappearances.

The Observatory is extremely concerned aboutthis new act of harassment against a member of El-Nadeem Center, only one weekafter an attempt to freeze the Center’s assets under administrative order[2] (the orderwas reversed on November 14, 2016), as these actions only aims at sanctioningtheir legitimate human rights activities. Moreover, earlier this year El NadeemCenter has been repeatedly threatened with closure order by the Egyptianauthorities[3].

The Observatory urges theEgyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally lift the travel banagainst Aida Seif El-Dawla and put an end to all acts of harassment against ElNadeem Center as well as against all human rights organisations in the country,and to comply with its constitutional obligations (in particular Article 78 andArticle 93 of the 2014 Egyptian Constitution which respectively recognise theright to freedom of association and Egypt’s compliance with international humanrights conventions ratified by Egypt) as well as its international legalobligations (in particular Article 22 of the International Covenant on Civiland Political Rights – ICCPR).

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egyptasking them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances Ms. Seif El-Dawla’s freedom of movement, by immediately and unconditionally lifting thetravel ban imposed against her, as it aims only at sanctioning her legitimatehuman rights activities;

ii. Put an end to all forms of harassmentagainst El Nadeem Center as well as against all human rights organisations anddefenders in Egypt;

iii. Comply with all the provisions of theUnited Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular withArticle 1; Article 5(b) and Article 12.2.

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect forhuman rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international humanrights standards and international instruments ratified by Egypt.


  • President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E.Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Abedine Palace, Cairo, Egypt, Fax: +202 23901998

· Prime Minister, Mr. Sherif Ismail, Magles El Shaab Street, Kasr El AiniStreet, Cairo, Egypt. Fax: + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016. Email:

· Minister of the Interior, General Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, Ministry of theInterior, El-Sheikh Rihan Street, Bab al-Louk, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail:, Fax: +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529

Minister of Justice, Mr.Ahmed Al-Zanad, Ministry of Justice, Magles El Saeb Street, Wezaret Al Adl,Cairo, Egypt, E-mail:, Fax: +202 2795 8103

Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Dar al-Qadha al-Ali, RamsesStreet, Cairo, Egypt, Fax: +202 2577 4716

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

H.E. Ms. Wafaa Bassim, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to theUnited Nations in Geneva, 49 avenue Blanc, 1202 Genève, Switzerland, Email:, Fax: +41 22 738 44 15

Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, 19 avenue de l’Uruguay, 1000 Brussels,Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email:

Please also write to the diplomatic missionsor embassies of Egypt in your respective country.


Geneva-Paris, November 24,2016

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (theObservatory) was created in 1997 by the World Organisation Against Torture(OMCT) and FIDH. The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent orremedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCTare both members,the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergencyline:


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

•Tel and fax FIDH + 33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +331 43 55 18 80

[1] See theObservatory Joint Statement of September 23, 2016 and of November 9, 2016 andthe Urgent Appeal EGY 004 / 1116 / OBS101 of November 22, 2016.

[2] See theObservatory Urgent Appeal EGY 001 /0216 / OBS 019.3of November 17, 2016.

[3] See theObservatory’s Urgent Appeals EGY 001 /0216 / OBS 019, EGY 001 / 0216 / OBS 019.1andEGY 001 / 0216 / OBS 019.2 issued on February19, February 23 and April 6, 2016.

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