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Egypt: CFJ condemns renewal of pretrial detention for human rights activists, calls for release or fair trial

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Press release

Geneva – March 12, 2024

 

The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has monitored the renewal of pretrial detention for six activists, including lawyers, human rights activists, and journalists, in the terrorism chambers of the Criminal Court in Egypt. The CFJ demands their immediate release or a prompt and fair trial.

During its session on March 7, 2024, the First Circuit (Terrorism) of the Criminal Court decided to extend the pretrial detention of prominent cassation lawyer and human rights defender Ahmed Nazir Al-Helou for 45 days, pending investigations in Case No. 1940 of 2022 (Supreme State Security).

Simultaneously, translator and human rights activist Marwa Arafa saw her detention renewed for 45 days in connection with Case No. 570 of 2020 (Supreme State Security). Arafa has been held in custody since April 2020, raising concerns about violating the Egyptian Pretrial Detention Law.

In a parallel session held in Badr Prison on the same day, the Second Circuit (Terrorism) of the Criminal Court renewed the detention of human rights lawyer Qassem Mahrous Abdel Kafi for 45 days, pending investigations in Case No. 930 of 2019, known as the “Hope Alliance.” Abdel Kafi has been in detention for over four years, surpassing the legally specified pretrial detention period.

Similarly, the Cairo Criminal Court, sitting in the counseling room of the Badr Prison Complex, renewed the detention of human rights lawyer Abd Rab Al-Nabi for 45 days about Case No. 2175 of 2021 (Supreme State Security) despite exceeding the legal pretrial detention period.

On March 6, 2024, the Criminal Court (First Circuit) renewed the detention of lawyer and human rights defender Saeed Hassan Ali for 45 days, pending investigations into Case No. 238 of 2021 (Supreme State Security Prosecution). Ali appeared at the Supreme State Security Prosecution on July 7, 2021, following his release in another case.

Journalist and member of the “Journalists for Reform” movement, Ahmed Hamdi Abu Zeid Al-Tanoubi, had his detention extended for 45 days pending investigations in Case No. 1530 of 2019 (Supreme State Security). Al-Tanoubi, a prominent defender of journalists’ rights, has been a vocal supporter of political detainees’ families.

The CFJ strongly rejects these pretrial detention renewals, alleging a connection to the activists’ peaceful work. The organization calls on Egyptian authorities to release them immediately or ensure a speedy trial adhering to internationally recognized standards of fair courts. Additionally, the CFJ urges compliance with the Pretrial Detention Law, limiting detention periods to two years, and demands the swift release and appropriate compensation for those exceeding this legal limit.

 

 

 

 

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

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