Egypt: Abduction of Amr Imam and physical assault of Gamal Eid, members of ANHRI

17/10/2019
Urgent Appeal

EGY 008/ 1019 / OBS 081
Abduction / Enforced disappearance /
Physical assault
Egypt
October 17, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the abduction and enforced disappearance of Mr. Amr Imam, human rights lawyer at the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), and the physical assault of Mr. Gamal Eid, ANHRI’s Director.

According to the information received, on October 16, 2019 at dawn, Mr. Amr Imam was abducted by police officers from his home in Cairo. While Mr. Amr Imam managed to publish a brief post about his arrest on Facebook, the security forces then refused him his right to make a phone call to his lawyer or family members. At the time of publication of this Urgent Appeal, Mr. Amr Imam’s fate and whereabouts remained unknown, despite attempts to locate him. In the previous days, Mr. Amr Imam had publicly announced his intention to start a hunger strike to denounce police abuses, including multiple cases of abduction and enforced disappearances, acts of torture and ill-treatment as well as the lack of accountability from the of police officers for their crimes.

Moreover, on October 10, 2019, Mr. Gamal Eid was beaten repeatedly with the butt of a gun by an unknown attacker who stole his cellphone, tried to steal his backpack and fired a shot in the air while fleeing the scene with an accomplice who had a motorcycle. The beatings resulted in a fractured rib and bruises for Mr. Gamal Eid. The incident happened on main street and during busy hours (between 6 and 8pm). The Observatory fears that this act constitutes an act of harassment targeting Mr. Eid for his human rights activities.

The Observatory recalls that the abduction of Mr. Amr Imam comes a few days after the abduction, torture and arbitrary detention of journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah [1], as well as the arbitrary detention and torture of blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah and his lawyer, Mohamed Al Baqer [2]. Other human rights defenders and lawyers were also arrested in this last wave of arrests, such as women’s rights defender Asmaa Dabees [3] and human rights lawyer Mahienour El Massry [4].

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the abduction and enforced disappearance of Mr. Amr Imam and the physical assault of Mr. Gamal Eid, and urges the Egyptian authorities to guarantee their physical integrity and psychological well-being under all circumstances. The Observatory calls on the authorities to immediately reveal Mr. Amr Imam’s whereabouts, give him an immediate access to his family and lawyer, and put an end to any acts of harassment against him, Mr. Gamal Eid and all human rights defenders in Egypt.

Actions requested:  

Please write to the authorities in Egypt, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Messrs. Amr Imam, Gamal Eid, as well as of all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Immediately reveal Mr. Amr Imam’s whereabouts and give him an immediate access to his family members, lawyer and medical assistance;

iii. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Amr Imam, as his detention is arbitrary as it seems only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities;

iv. Carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned allegations of physical assault in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;

v. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Messrs. Amr Imam and Gamal Eid, and all human rights defenders in Egypt and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrance;

vi. Conform in all circumstances to the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its Articles 1 and 12.2.;

vii. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights instruments ratified by Egypt.

Addresses:

• President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 2391 1441. Email: p.spokesman@op.gov.eg, Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial
• Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Kemal Madbouly Mohamed. Email: pm@cabinet.gov.eg 
• Minister of the Interior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfik, Email: center@iscmi.gov.eg
• Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohamed Hossam Abdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103 
• Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716
• Head of the Egyptian parliament’s Human Rights Committee, Mr. Alaa Abed, Email: humanrightscomplaints@parliament.gov.eg
• Mr. Mohamed Fayeq, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497 / 25747670. Email: nchr@nchr.org.eg
• H.E. Mr. Alaa Youssef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email: mission.egypt@bluewin.ch
• Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email: embassy.egypt@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country. 

***
Paris-Geneva, October 17, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:
• E-mail: Appeals@fidh-omct.org
• Tel and fax FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
• Tel and fax OMCT +41 (0) 22 809 49 39 / +41 22 809 49 29

[1] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 006 / 1019 / OBS 079, published on October 15, 2019.
[2] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 004 / 0919 / OBS 075.2, published on October 10, 2019.
[3] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 005 / 0919 / OBS 076.1, published on October 4, 2019.
[4] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 003 / 0919 / OBS 074, published on September 23, 2019.

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