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Egypt: Arrest of 17 Activists in front of UN Women’s Headquarters Protest

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Press release

Geneva – April 24, 2024


Egyptian security forces detained 17 activists on Tuesday afternoon outside the United Nations Women’s Headquarters in Cairo. The protest, organized in solidarity with women in Gaza and Sudan, was swiftly disrupted by authorities.

Among those arrested were including Rajia Omran, Lubna Darwish, Mahienour Al-Masry, Rasha Azab, Farida Hafni, Asmaa Naeem, Mai Al-Mahdi, Iman Auf, Yusra Al-Kalisli, Yara Al-Wardani, Hadeer Al-Mahdawi, Arwa Marhi, Israa Youssef, Lina Ali, Youssef Shaaban, Muhammad Farag, and Ruqaiya Siraj Al-Din.

The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has condemned these arrests, emphasizing the activists’ right to peaceful assembly and expression, protected under Egyptian law and international agreements ratified by Egypt.

In a statement, CFJ urged the immediate and unconditional release of all detained activists, stressing the importance of preserving civil liberties and safeguarding the work of human rights defenders in Egypt.

The arrests come amid ongoing concerns over shrinking civil space in Egypt, with advocacy groups increasingly targeted by authorities. CFJ’s call echoes broader appeals for the protection of fundamental freedoms in the country.

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