Press release, by CFJ
Geneva: July 18, 2023
CFJ has issued its second quarterly bulletin (April to June 2023), as part of its Justice for HRDs project, which documents violations against HRDs in Egypt.
The bulletin included a documentation of violations against HRDs by the Egyptian authorities, such as arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment, and unfair trials.
CFJ has documented 15 cases of arbitrary deprivation of freedom against HRDs. These violations included arbitrary arrests of three individuals and the continued arbitrary detention of 12 HRDs. Additionally, during the second quarter of 2023, Egyptian authorities arrested Jason Alfred Camo, a Chadian refugee and leader in refugee issues, and the director of the African Refugee Initiative in Cairo. He was added to case number 4943/2023 on charges of not possessing a residence or asylum permit. Camo later announced his arrival in Rwanda after being deported from Egypt.
Enforced disappearance of a student activist:
CFJ also documented an incident on May 11, 2023, when a security force affiliated with the National Security sector arrested student leader Muath El-Sharqawi from his home in the Maadi area of Cairo. He was taken to an undisclosed location and remained subject to enforced disappearance for 24 days until he appeared on June 3rd before the Supreme State Security Prosecution. The prosecution ordered his pretrial detention in case 540/2023 of State Security on charges of joining a terrorist group and financing a terrorist group. He stated that during his enforced disappearance, he experienced several violations, especially during the initial days, including torture and beatings on the face and shoulders using hands and shoes.
Torture and Ill-treatment:
The bulletin added that the lawyer and human rights activist, Mohamed Al-Baqer, and the activist Mohamed Oxygen, were subjected to physical assault by prison security forces at Badr 1 prison in April 2023. They sustained injuries as a result of their objection to the assault on their colleague. Additionally, lawyer and human rights defender Hoda Abdel Moneim was denied visits after being transferred from Qanater women’s prison to the 10th of Ramadan prison, despite her deteriorating health condition.
Deprivation of healthcare:
CFJ also noted the complaint of journalist Manal Ajjarme before the Criminal Court (First Terrorism Circuit) during the renewal of her detention in case number 1893/2023, State Security. She suffered from spinal health issues, which worsened with the continued detention and deprivation of healthcare.
On April 12, 2023, the Criminal Court decided to approve the extension of the request number 5/2018 to include 1,526 individuals on the terrorism lists for an additional 5 years. Among these individuals were human rights defenders, journalists, and media professionals. Additionally, researcher Patrick George was prevented from traveling to Italy to attend the defense of his master’s thesis at the University of Bologna.
The HRDs bulletin is a periodic publication issued by CFJ. It monitors violations against organizations and individuals working in the field of human rights in Egypt, and provides updates on human rights cases. It is part of the Justice for HRDs project.