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Egypt: 2,000 days of arbitrary detention for human rights defender Hoda Abdel-Moneim    

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The undersigned human rights organizations and the FreeHoda Campaign condemn the prolonged arbitrary detention of lawyer and human rights defender Hoda Abdel-Moneim for more than 2,000 days. Following the completion of her previous sentence, which was based on falsified charges, the public prosecution has continued to unlawfully detain Abdel-Moniem by ‘ reissuing similar fabricated charges against her, also known as ‘recycling’ her charges. The undersigned organizations and the FreeHoda campaign demand her immediate release from arbitrary detention, especially  due to her deteriorating health in prison.

 

On 22 April 2024, Hoda Abdel-Moneim marked 2,000 days of arbitrary detention. On 31 October 2023, Abdel-Moneim completed a 5-year prison sentence issued by the Emergency State Security Court, on the basis of falsified charges.This was in Case No. 1552 of 2018 Supreme State Security Emergency, the ‘Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms case’. Defendants in the case faced whatUnited Nations experts described as an unfair trial which was marred by numerous due process violations.

 

On the last day of her sentence, 31 October 2023, as she was imminently awaiting release, Abdel-Moneim was shocked that she was placed (recycled) under a new case, no. 730 of 2020, facing the same two charges that she had faced in Case No. 1552 of 2018. She was once again charged with joining a terrorist group – the same charge for which the Emergency State Security Court had issued the 5-year prison sentence on 5 March 2023 –  and was charged a second time with committing a terrorism financing crime, despite being acquitted of the same charge by the Emergency Court.

 

According to the new case, she committed these two crimes while held in solitary confinement under the supervision and control of the prison administration. The ‘recycling’ of Hoda Abdel-Moneim into a new case with  the same charges violates the provision that, “A person may not be tried under the same charges for which he has been previously tried and punished,” according to Article 101 of Proof law, and Article 116 Pleadings in Egyptian law.

 

On 1 November 2018, lawyer and human rights defender Hoda Abdel-Moneim was arrested and remained under forced disappearance for 21 days. She was barred from communicating with her lawyer or family members, after which, it became clear that she had been detained in a security headquarters in Abbasiya. Since her arrest, Abdel-Moneim’s family and her lawyer have faced restrictions on visitation, including repeated bans. The prison administration has ignored the defense’s requests

to view her medical reports. Abdel-Moneim suffers from multiple critical health problems. She has suffered from a stroke, a heart attack, and kidney blockage; she also suffers from severe imbalance due to a middle-ear infection.

 

Hoda Abdel-Moneim is 65 years old and has been a lawyer and human rights defender since 1983. She won the 2020 Human Rights Award from the Council of Associations of Lawyers and Judicial Bodies in Europe and was a member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt. She was also a legal advisor to the International Islamic Council for Preaching and Relief, under the presidency of former Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy.

 

The undersigned demand the immediate and unconditional release of lawyer and rights defender Hoda Abdel-Moneim, and the dismissal of the new case and charges against her. We further demand the suspension of the five-year police surveillance penalty and inclusion on terrorist lists issued against her in the previous case, given her current state of health and in application of the principles of Egyptian law.

 

Signatories:

 

 

1- Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)

2- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)

3- Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)

4- Committee For Justice (CFJ)

5- Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)

6- Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR)

7- Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF)

8- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)

9- El-Nadeem Centre for the rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture

10- FreeHoda Campaign

11- International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)

12- Law and Democracy Support Foundation (LDSF)

13- Lawyers for Lawyers

14- MENA Rights Group

15- Middle East Democracy Center (MEDC)

16- Refugees Platform in Egypt (RPE)

17- Sinai for Human Rights

18- The Regional Coalition for Women Human Rights Defenders South West Asia and North Africa

19- Egypt Wide for Human Rights

For more information and media requests or inquiries, please get in touch with us (+41229403538 / media@cfjustice.org)

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