Egypt: Haytham Mohamadein released on probation, still under judicial harassment

20/11/2018
Urgent Appeal

New information
EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 069.1
Release on probation /
Judicial harassment
Egypt
November 20, 2018

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint 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.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the release on probation of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein, labour lawyer and a member of El-Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, an Egyptian NGO dedicated to combating torture and providing medical and legal aid in support of victims of human rights’ abuses.

According to the information received, on October 29, 2018, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was released on probation pending trial from El-Saff police station in the suburbs of Giza. The decision had been taken on October 8, 2018, by the Giza Criminal Court, circuit 14, but was appealed on the same day by the Supreme State Security Prosecution. On October 10, 2018, the court rejected the prosecution’s appeal and confirmed the order to release Mr. Haytham Mohamadein on probation. Between October 10 and October 29, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was transferred between different detention places and his family and lawyers were sometimes unable to reach him, until he was finally released in El-Saff police station, near his home.

Currently, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein has to present twice a week to El-Saff police station, for two hours at night.

On November 19, 2018 his probation period was extended by the North Cairo Criminal Court, circuit 21, and a judge will re-examine it in 45 days. Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was detained since May 18, 2018 over his alleged participation in “illegal protests” on May 12, 2018 (see background information below).

The Observatory welcomes the release on probation of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein but remains deeply concerned by the ongoing judicial harassment against him, which clearly aims at punishing him for his human rights activities.

The Observatory recalls that this is not the first time Mr. Haytham Mohamadein is targeted by the Egyptian authorities as he was detained on at least two different occasions in the past, the latter from April to October 2016, on charges of “joining a banned group, participating in an illegal protest and plotting the overthrow of the ruling government”. The Observatory denounces a wider trend of harassment and arbitrary detentions against human rights defenders in Egypt. Since the beginning of 2018, the Observatory has documented the arbitrary detention of several human rights defenders, including of Ms. Amal Fathy [1] and Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb [2].

The Observatory urges the Egyptian authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Haytham Mohamadein and to ensure human rights defenders in Egypt are able to carry out their legitimate and peaceful human rights work without fear of hindrance or reprisals.

Background information:

On May 18, 2018, just before dawn, members of the police and National Security Agency arrested Mr. Haytham Mohamadein in his home in El-Saff in Giza Governorate. No warrant was presented to him.

Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was then detained in an unknown location until he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution in New Cairo’s Tagammu El-Khamis District on May 19, 2018. On this day, the prosecutor ordered a 15-day detention period pending an investigation on charges of "aiding a terrorist organisation to achieve its goals" and "calling for illegal protests". These charges stem from the Prosecution’s allegations of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein’s participation in protests over the rise in metro fares on May 12, 2018, although Mr. Haytham Mohamadein has always denied taking part in the protests.

On May 19, 2018, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was transferred to the Central Security Forces Camp "Kilo 10.5", which is located on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road.

Beginning of June, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was transferred to Qanater prison, after the first extension of his pre-trial detention by the prosecution.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein and of all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Haytham Mohamadein and all human rights defenders in the country and ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance or fear of reprisals;

iii. 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;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms 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. Mostafa Madbouly. Fax: + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016.
· Minister of the Interior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfiq, Fax: +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529
· Minister of Justice, Mohamed Hossam Abdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103 

· Minister of Social Solidarity, Ghada Waly, Fax: +202 3337 5390
· 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: nchr@nchr.org.eg
· H.E. Alaa Youssef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email: mission.egypt@ties.itu.int, Fax: +41 22 738 44 15
· Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 26 75 58 88; Email: embassy.egypt@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Egypt in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, November 20, 2018

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 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 the Observatory Urgent Appeals EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059 published on May 12, 2018, EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059.5 published on July 3, 2018, EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059.7 published on October 1, 2018, and EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059.8 published on November 13, 2018.
[2] See the Observatory Urgent Appeals EGY 004 / 0718 / OBS 090 published on July 4, 2018 and EGY 004 / 0718 / OBS 090.1 published on July 26, 2018.

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