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Egypt: CFJ denounces arrest of human rights lawyer Ahmed el-Helou

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Egyptian security forces detained human rights lawyer Ahmed el-Helou from his home in the Fifth Settlement area in Cairo on Sunday, 6 November 2022, after his return from work, the Committee for Justice can reveal.

El-Helou has yet to be referred to any prosecution for investigation, according to his colleagues, and his place of detention remains unknown.

El-Helou has defended clients in cases of a political nature, particularly attending investigations at the State Security Prosecution or Badr Prison.

CFJ has documented the detention of 735 lawyers and human rights defenders since 2013 until now.

The detention of el-Helou comes in stark contrast to the public relations image the Egyptian authorities are trying to promote during Cop27 in Sharm El-Sheikh. CFJ calls on Egyptian authorities to reveal the fate of the forcibly disappeared human rights lawyer, Ahmed Nazeer el-Helou, and to release him immediately and unconditionally, on the grounds that his arrest came as a result of his work as a lawyer in the human rights field, as well as related to his right to freedom of opinion and expression.

The organization also calls on the authorities in Egypt to take the necessary measures to ensure that human rights defenders – including lawyers, civil society and activists – can work in an environment that enables them to carry out their legitimate activities without fear of criminalization, harassment or intimidation.

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