The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), has received new information and requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.
The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the Court’s decision to release 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) who has been detained without formal charges and in solitary confinement in Mazraah Prison in Torah since May 5, 2016.
According to the information received, on August 25, 2016, the South Benha Criminal Court ordered the release without bail of Mr. Malek Adly, pending the outcome of investigations. The prosecution appealed the court’s decision and a review session is set for August 27, 2016. Meanwhile, Mr. Malek Adly will remain in prison until the final decision.
The Observatory welcomes the decision to release Malek Adly and requests the judicial authorities to uphold the decision and immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Malek Adly.
The Observatory further urges the authorities to drop all the charges against him and stop his harassment as it only seems to merely aim at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities.
Until Mr. Malek Adly is released, the Observatory further urges the authorities to ensure that the proceedings and his conditions of detention are in compliance with international law standards.
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.
On June 28, 2016, the ECESR filed a complaint against the Minister of Interior, Public Prosecutor, Head of Egypt’s Prison Authority and Officer of Mazraah Prison in Torah regarding Mr. Malek Adly’s poor detention conditions. Mr. Haitham Al-Harir, a member of Parliament, also filed several complaints to the Ministry of Interior regarding his conditions of detention. The latest was filed on July 14.
On July 18, 2016, Mr. Malek Adly’s lawyers requested the court to appoint an investigative judge for the case, arguing that the prosecution had committed several violations of the right to due process and fair trial. More particularly, Mr. Malek Adly’s lawyers complained that they had not received a formal copy of the court’s case, that the court had refused to open an investigation for allegations of torture and ill treatment during his detention, and that, on several occasions, the prosecution refused visit requests by the lawyers. Following the latest renewal of the detention, Mr. Malek Adly’s lawyers declared their withdrawal from the prosecution investigation session to protest violations of the right to a fair trial by the prosecution committee.
Mr. Malek Adly is detained in a 6x8 foot cell, without lighting or ventilation. He is unable to leave except for court sessions or visits with his wife and lawyers. Mr. Adly has 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 is suffering from high blood pressure and aching joints, he does not have access to medication or a doctor.
Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:
i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Malek Adly, including by putting an end to all acts of torture and ill-treatment against him, as well as of all human rights defenders in Egypt;
ii. Release immediately and unconditionally Mr. Malek Adly, as well as all human rights defenders currently in arbitrary detention, as it seems to only aim at curtailing their human rights activities;
iii. 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;
iv. Put an end to the harassment - including at the judicial level - against Mr. Malek Adly, as well as against all human rights defenders in Egypt;
v. 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;
vi. 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, Fax: +202 23901998
· Prime Minister of Egypt, Mr. Sherif Ismail, Fax: + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
· Minister of the Interior of Egypt, General Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, E-mail: email@example.com, Fax: +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529
· Minister of Justice of Egypt, Mr. Ahmed El Zend, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +202 2795 8103
· Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, 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, Switzerland, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Fax: +41 22 738 44 15
· Embassy of Egypt in 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.