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Justice for HRDs bulletin: CFJ reports violations against Egyptian human rights defenders during first quarter of 2023

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Press release


Geneva: July 9th, 2023


The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has released its quarterly report for the “Justice for Human Rights Defenders” project, spotlighting the human rights violations in Egypt from January to March 2023.

The bulletin outlined the documented violations against human rights defenders by the Egyptian authorities, which varied between arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, poor detention conditions, unfair and biased trials, and deaths inside detention centers.


36 deprivation of liberty violations:

The CFJ has documented 36 violations of deprivation of liberty against human rights defenders, including 25 violations of detention for the first time, and 11 violations of renewal of detention, a practice known as “recycling.” CFJ’s team also reported the continued arbitrary pretrial detention of several human rights defenders.


Case of enforced disappearance of a lawyer and a human rights defender:

During the first quarter of 2023, the CFJ documented the enforced disappearance of lawyer Mohamed Adel Mohamed Ahmed. Ahmed was abducted from inside the Kafr Saqr police station in Sharqia while inquiring about his client, remaining missing for 10 days until he was presented to the Supreme State Security Prosecution. Consequently, a ruling was passed for his pretrial detention.


11 poor detention conditions violations:

The CFJ also documented 11 violations of poor detention conditions during the reporting period, including ill-treatment and deliberate healthcare denial against human rights defenders. Among the victims were Tawfiq Abd al-Wahed Ibrahim Ghanem, human rights lawyer Ali Abbas Barakat, journalist Manal Ajrama, and human rights activist Aisha al-Shater, who has been detained since 2018, despite the serious deterioration of her health.


Two death cases of human rights defenders:

Regarding deaths inside detention centers, former parliament member Ragab Mohamed Zaid and lawyer Ramadan Youssef, both human rights defenders, passed away during the reporting period.


“The Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedom” case rulings:

Regarding unjust verdicts, during the reporting period, the State Security Emergency Court issued final verdicts in Case No. 1/2021 State Security Emergency, known as the “The Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedom Case.” This case involved a large number of human rights defenders, and the sentences ranged from 15 years to 5 years of imprisonment. Additionally, during the hearing of lawyer Abd Rab Al-Nabi Abdullah before the consultation chamber held in Bader via video conference, his hands were handcuffed in front of the court, however the court did not intervene or inquire about the circumstances that led security forces to take this action, nor did the court stop this violation.


The Justice for Human Rights Defenders Project Bulletin

The bulletin for the “Justice for Human Rights Defenders” project is a regular release by the Committee for Justice. Its aim is to document violations against organizations and individuals advocating for human rights in Egypt and provide updates on the latest developments in human rights issues.

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