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Egypt: CFJ denounces deliberate measures against human rights defender and lawyer Hoda Abdel Moneim    

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The Committee for Justice stated that the policy of targeting human rights defenders by the Egyptian authorities through what is known as the practice of renewed arrest (recycling of detention) is a systematic policy deliberately practiced by the authorities in Egypt to prevent human rights defenders from carrying out their peaceful and legitimate activities, which are legitimate under all laws and humanitarian charters, and the associated practices and violations that deprive human rights defenders of their rights.

CFJ has received a message from the family of the human rights defender, lawyer, and former member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt, Hoda Abdel Moneim (63 years old), in which they expressed their surprise at her being presented on Sunday, November 12, 2023, to the State Security Prosecution via video conference (online), before the legally scheduled renewal date, and without her appearance on the list of presentations, as also reported by her lawyers.

Abdel Moneim’s family added that during this unexpected presentation, she requested a postponement due to the absence of her lawyer, who was unaware of the sudden presentation date; however, the chief prosecutor refused without giving reasons, and her detention was renewed for 15 days pending investigation.

The family emphasized in their message that the Egyptian authorities’ determination to continue her detention and prevent her from receiving visitors is evidence of the authorities’ deliberate violation of her rights and the law.

The Committee for Justice had previously monitored the State Security Prosecution’s direct investigation with the human rights lawyer and former member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt, Hoda Abdel Moneim, on a new case, following the end of her sentence on November 1, 2023. She was summoned from her detention at the Tenth of Ramadan Prison for Women to the headquarters of the State Security Prosecution in the Fifth Settlement, in an attempt to recycle (renew) her detention before the end of her sentence.

Abdel Moneim was arrested on November 1, 2018, from her home in Cairo, and was forcibly disappeared for 21 days at the National Security headquarters in Abbasiya, before being presented to the State Security Prosecution on November 21, 2018, in very poor health due to severe physical and psychological torture.

She was investigated and a decision was made to detain her on case number 1552 for the year 2018, Supreme State Security Prosecution, and then she was referred to the SupremeState Security Emergency Court, which sentenced her to five years in prison, ending on the evening of November 1, 2023.

Abdel Moneim suffered from serious health problems, experiencing several health crises over the past five years that endangered her life, amidst complete obstinacy with her, until her detention was recycled today pending a new case.

The Committee for Justice rejects the actions practiced by the Egyptian authorities against the human rights lawyer, Hoda Abdel Moneim, and her detention recycling after the end of her sentence on a new case, and the automatic renewal of her detention without consideration of legal rules and without her lawyer’s presence, in practices the authorities in Egypt have habitually used against human rights defenders; to detain them for long periods and prevent them from carrying out their peaceful and legitimate work.

CFJ also demands the immediate release of Abdel Moneim, considering her severely deteriorating health due to the poor detention conditions she experienced during her sentence.

Additionally, CFJ urges the UN and international mechanisms to pressure the Egyptian authorities to stop using pretrial detention as a weapon against human rights defenders, to review the pretrial detention period which currently extends to two years according to current law, and which participants in the recent national dialogue demanded to be amended.

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