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.
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the conditional release of Mr. Malek Adly, a human rights lawyer working for the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) and co-funder of the Front of Defence for Egyptian Protesters (FDEP).
According to the information received, on August 27, 2016, the Cairo Criminal Court rejected the prosecution’s appeal and confirmed the decision to release Mr. Malek Adly pending further investigations. The latter was finally released on August 28, 2016 from Shubra Al-Khaimah police station. However, the charges against Mr. Adly have not been dropped, and the latter can be called to trial at any time.
The Observatory welcomes the release of Malek Adly, and requests the judicial authorities to drop all the charges against him as they only aim at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities.
On May 5, 2016, Mr. Malek Adly was arrested by the Egyptian security forces in Maadi, Cairo based on an arrest warrant issued on April 23, 2016. The arrest warrant related to a call to protest on April 25, 2016, condemning the recent government decision to transfer the sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia (Tiran and Sanafir) and against President Al Sissi’s policies, human rights abuses and crimes committed by the Egyptian security forces. On April 11, 2016, Mr. Malek Adly had also filed a lawsuit against such government’s decision on the islands.
Mr. Malek Adly was brought to Maadi police station and questioned. During his interrogation, he was beaten, struck with firearms, blindfolded and stripped of his shirt by police officers. He was then transferred to the Shubra Al-Khaimah public prosecution, where he was questioned again for four hours from 3 am to 7 am.
On May 6, 2016, the prosecutor ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigation on several charges, including of “joining a group to obstruct the law”, “spreading false news”, “plotting to overthrow the government and alter the Egyptian Constitution”, “hindering the official duties of government institutions”, “promoting publications that disrupt national unity”, “inciting the anti-government protests that took place on April 25” and “using violence and force against national security agency officers”. The detention was extended several times until August 25, 2016, when the South Benha Criminal Court ordered his release without bail, pending the outcome of investigations.
The prosecution appealed the court’s decision and a review session was set for August 27, 2016. Mr. Malek Adly remained in prison until the final decision.
Mr. Malek Adly was detained in a 6x8 foot cell, without lighting or ventilation. He was unable to leave except for court sessions or visits with his wife and lawyers. Mr. Adly had also been denied the right to furnish his cell with a bed and mattress, deprived of his right to exercise and recreation, barred from visiting the prison library and mosque or receiving reading material. Though Mr. Malek Adly was suffering from high blood pressure and aching joints, he did not have access to medication or a doctor.
Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:
i. Immediately drop all charges against Mr. Malek Adly as they only aim at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities and, more generally, put an end to the harassment against him and all human rights defenders in Egypt;
ii. Carry out an immediate, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment against Mr. Malek Adly, in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;
iii. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its Articles 1, 6(b)(c), and 12.2;
iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Egypt.
· President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Abedine Palace, Cairo, Egypt, Fax: +202 23901998
· Prime Minister, Mr. Sherif Ismail, Magles El Shaab Street, Kasr El Aini Street, Cairo, Egypt. Fax: + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Minister of the Interior, General Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, Ministry of the Interior, El-Sheikh Rihan Street, Bab al-Louk, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail: email@example.com, Fax: +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529
· Minister of Justice, Mr. Ahmed El Zend, Ministry of Justice, Magles El Saeb Street, Wezaret Al Adl, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +202 2795 8103
· Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Dar al-Qadha al-Ali, Ramses Street, Cairo, Egypt, Fax: +202 2577 4716
· Mr. Mohamed Fayeq, President of the National Council For Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497 / 25747670. Email: email@example.com
· H.E. Ms. Wafaa Bassim, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, 49 avenue Blanc, 1202 Genève, Switzerland, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +41 22 738 44 15
· Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, 19 avenue de l’Uruguay, 1000 Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email: email@example.com
Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country.