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Egypt: Visitation ban on human rights lawyer Hoda Abdel Moneim renewed; CFJ calls for compliance with international and Egyptian law

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Press release

Geneva – June 11, 2024


The administration of Al-Ashir Men Ramadan Women’s Prison in Sharqia, Egypt, has once again barred visits to human rights defender and lawyer Hoda Abdel Moneim, a former member of the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt, despite previously allowing them.

Egyptian authorities renewed Abdel Moneim’s detention after her original sentence had expired, placing her in pretrial detention under case number 730 of 2020 (High State Security Prosecution) on the same charges for which she had already been imprisoned. This violates the legal principle that a person cannot be tried and punished for the same charges twice, as stated in Article 101 of the Egyptian Evidence Law and Article 116 of the Egyptian Code of Civil Procedure.

Since her detention began, Abdel Moneim’s health has severely deteriorated. She has developed severe knee osteoarthritis and cartilage erosion, leading to an inability to move or walk. Additionally, she has suffered a heart attack, high blood pressure, a blood clot in her left leg, and complete failure of her left kidney. Despite her critical condition, prison authorities have refused to transfer her to an external hospital for necessary medical care.


CFJ emphasizes that the Egyptian authorities, specifically the Egyptian Prisons Authority and the administration of Al-Ashir Men Ramadan Women’s Prison, are in clear violation of international law. The UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1977), particularly Articles 37 and 92, stipulate that detainees have the right to maintain contact with their families or reputable friends through correspondence and visits. The Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (1988) also asserts the right of detainees to receive family visits under “reasonable conditions and restrictions.”

Moreover, the internal regulations of Egyptian prisons, detailed in ten articles from Article 34 to Article 43, outline the right to visits and correspondence. These regulations state that family members are permitted to visit convicted individuals once a month after one month from the start of the sentence, and those in pretrial detention or serving short sentences (less than three months) are allowed weekly visits, except on Fridays and public holidays, from 9 AM to 12 PM, unless otherwise prohibited by the public prosecutor or investigating judge.

Therefore, CFJ urges Egyptian authorities to respect the international treaties they have signed and the Egyptian laws, allowing the family of human rights defender Hoda Abdel Moneim regular and consistent visits. This right should not be used as a means of exerting pressure on her or her family.

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