Following the arbitrary arrest of 28 women, Committee for Justice submits a complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression
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Committee for Justice
Geneva, 8 August 2019
Committee for Justice submitted a complaint with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, following the arbitrary arrest of more than 28 women in recent days, for expressing their views, in what is seen as a disturbing violation of domestic and international laws.
“We asked the UN Special Rapporteur to intervene urgently with the Egyptian government to immediately disclose the whereabouts of disappeared persons and to release all detainees, as well as to remind the Egyptian authorities of their obligations to protect the right to freedom of opinion and expression in all circumstances, and to put an end to the crackdown on dissidents through arrests and detention,” said Ahmed Mefreh, executive director of Committee for Justice.
He added that those arrests and their associated violations are extremely alarming, and reveal the extent of spread of arbitrary detention in Egypt, especially against Egyptian women, in line with the full impunity granted to the security agencies that do not fear any consequences resulting from such human rights violations.
A copy of the complaint was sent to the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and the Special Rapporteur on violence against women.
The complaint pointed out that the Egyptian authorities arrested more than 29 women without arrest warrants and subjected some of them to enforced disappearance because of exercising various legitimate rights which included: expressing views, opposing the current political system through social media platforms, supporting the families of detainees, or even being linked to the former political system.
The complaint included details of what happened following the detention of these women, including: Aya Alaa Hosni, Fatima Al-Zahraa Mohamed Mahmoud Shalabi, Hanan Mahmoud Mahmoud, Nadia Ali, Shaimaa Hafez, Suhair Al-Shafei, Luyia Sabri, Mawada Osama Abdul-Aal Al-Aqabawi, Rania Abdel Fattah Abdel Meguid Abu Fayed, and Kawthar Fouad Lamei, Nahed Farid Maghawry, Tahani Ibrahim, Nargis Abdel Moneim El Tony, Reham Mohamed Al-Habashi, Nahed Khalaf El-Sawy, Taqwa Abdel Nasser Abdullah, Hayam Abdel Aziz, Sara Fawzi, Suhair Khamis Ahmed, Al-Shaimaa Mohamed Mahmoud, Hajar Atwan, Mervat Mohamed Mahmoud, Sahar Osama Radwan, Lama Jaber, Asala El-Sayed, Sarah El-Sayed, and Omniya Mohamed.
The complaint also pointed out that the detention of these women was not the first of its kind, but came as part of a series of violations of freedom of expression; as the current political system had previously undertaken many arbitrary arrests against opposition parties and individuals who had expressed a dissenting opinion.