CFJ: Egypt’s sentencing of Bahey Eldin Hassan is part of a systematic campaign against human rights advocates
The Committee for Justice (CFJ) rejects the court ruling issued on Tuesday against human rights advocate Mr Bahey Eldin Hassan, the director of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.
The ruling is part of the Egyptian government’s systematic campaign of repression against human rights advocates from various backgrounds. It constitutes an attempt to prevent them from carrying out their duty in exposing the severe human rights violations committed in Egypt.
In its session held on Tuesday 25 August 2020, The 5th Terrorism Circuit at the Cairo Criminal Court in Egypt sentenced Hassan to 15 years in prison, in case No. 5370 of 2020.
The sentence is based on charges lodged against him by the Public Prosecution, including “creating an account on social networking sites, broadcasting and disseminating false news, incitement to violence and insulting the judiciary.”
CFJ stresses that the series of measures taken by Egyptian authorities against Hassan in recent years shows that the ruling is undoubtedly politicized.
Since 2014, Hassan has been subjected to death threats that forced him to leave Egypt. Authorities have also frozen his assets, added his name to arrivals watch lists, sentenced him to three years in absentia on 19 September 2019 and a fine of 20,000 Egyptian pounds. The new ruling, as well as previous measures against Hassan constitute acts of reprisal against him by security and judicial authorities.
Additionally, the text of the verdict states that it has been based on articles in the Egyptian Penal Code and the Law on Combatting Electronic Crimes, which include many loopholes that could be used to settle political scores with rights activists and political opponents in Egypt and abroad.
Accordingly, the CFJ demands the reversal of the court ruling against Hassan, and calls on the Egyptian government to put an end to its retaliatory practices against human rights advocates and organisations