Egypt: Arbitrary detention of Mr. Mohamed Basheer, Administrative Manager of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights

16/11/2020
Urgent Appeal

EGY 006 / 1120 / OBS 127
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Egypt
November 16,2020

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint 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 the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) [1] about the arbitrary detention of Mr. Mohamed Basheer , the Administrative Manager of the organisation.

According to the information received, after midnight on November 15, 2020, security forces arrested Mr. Mohamed Basheer at his house, in Cairo. He was then brought to an unidentified State Security Sector facility where he was detained for 12 hours and questioned about the visit of several ambassadors and diplomats to EIPR on November 3, 2020 during which the improvement of human rights in Egypt and globally was discussed. After this interrogation, he appeared in the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) in the Fifth Settlement district, where he was questioned about EIPR’s work, its latest publications and its legal aid work.

Subsequently, the SSSP charged Mr. Basheer with “joining a terrorist organisation with knowledge of its purposes”, “using a personal account on the internet to spread false information that undermines public security”, “committing one of the crimes of funding terrorism”, “broadcasting false news and statements that undermines public security” and “harming national interest”, and decided to remand him in custody for 15 days and to resume the questioning at a later date. The prosecution added Mr. Mohamed Basheer to case n°855/2020 alongside with several other activists and human rights professionals, including lawyers Mohammed El Baqer[2] and Mahinour El Masry[3]. At the time of publication of this urgent appeal, his place of detention remains unknown.

The Observatory condemns the arbitrary detention of Mr. Mohamed Bashseer, as it seems to be only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities, and urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately disclose his place of detention.

The Observatory further urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him and to drop all charges against him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Mohamed Basheer as well as of all other human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Mohamed Basheeras well as all other human rights defenders prosecuted under the same case;

iii. Put an end to any form of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Mohamed Basheer as well as all human rights defenders in Egypt;

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

v. Ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in all circumstances, in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments to which Egypt is a State party.

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 representations of Egypt in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, November 16, 2020

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 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 FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18
● Tel OMCT +41 (0) 22 809 49 39


[1] The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has been working since 2002 to strengthen and protect basic rights and freedoms in Egypt, through research, advocacy and supporting litigation in the fields of civil liberties, economic and social rights, and criminal justice.
[2] See Joint statement ‘International NGOs call for the immediate release of human rights defenders Mohamed El-Baqer and Alaa Abdel Fattah on the first anniversary of their arrest’, published on September 29, 2020
[3] See the Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 003 / 0919 / OBS 074, published on September 23, 2019.

Read more
appelobs