Egypt: Judicial harassment of Mr. Khaled Ali

16/10/2018
Urgent Appeal

EGY 004 / 1018 / OBS 124
Judicial harassment /
Restrictions to the freedom of movement
Egypt
October 16, 2018

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

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the judicial harassment and restrictions to the freedom of movement against Mr. Khaled Ali, human rights lawyer and long-standing activist in the region [1].

According to the information received, on October 4, 2018, Mr. Khaled Ali was informed through the media that a travel ban had been issued against him. This followed his return from Tunisia where he attended a conference on "Combating Corruption and its Impact on Democratic Transformation" organized by the Center for Support of Democratic Transformation and Human Rights (DAAM) on September 28, 2018. However, at the time of publication of this appeal, the travel ban has not been notified to Mr. Ali.

Mr. Khaled Ali fears that this decision might be related to a comment he posted on Facebook concerning the conference he attended in Tunisia. However, according to the media that reported the news, the travel ban would have been issued in the framework of case No. 173/2011 also known as the “NGO Foreign Funding case”, under which several other human rights defenders have been subjected to travel bans, asset freezes and arbitrary detention in the past years [2]. Judge Mr. Hichem Abdelmajid, who is responsible for the case, declared that he needed to review the casefiles in order to be able to confirm the information.

Mr. Khaled Ali was not aware of being involved in this case, to which he had previously participated only to provide legal support to other defendants.

The Observatory recalls that this is not the first case of judicial harassment against Mr. Khaled Ali, who, as he was running for presidency, was sentenced in September 2017 to three months in prison for “violating public decency” for celebrating a court victory concerning a decision of the Egyptian government to hand over control of two islands to Saudi Arabia.

In light of the current wave of crackdown against civil society in Egypt, with three human rights defenders arrested since May 11, 2018 [3], the Observatory urges the Egyptian authorities to put an end to the widespread use of judicial harassment, travel bans and arbitrary detention against human rights defenders, and to ensure that their physical and psychological integrity, as well as their freedom of movement, is respected.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i.Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity Mr. Khaled Ali,and all human rights defenders in Egypt,;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally lift the travel ban against Mr. Khaled Ali asit is merely aimed at punishing him for his human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Mr. Khaled Ali, and all human rights defenders in Egypt, and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrance;

iv. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially Articles 1, 6(c) and 12.2; and

v. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional 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 

· Minister of Social Solidarity, Mrs. Ghada Wali, Tel: +202 333 75420
· 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.

***
Geneva-Paris, October 16, 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 the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and FIDH. 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 OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29
· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

[1] Mr. Khaled Ali is also a former candidate at the 2012, 2014 and 2018 Presidential elections. In January 2018, he withdrew from the latest denouncing the lack of transparency and democracy.
[2] See the Observatory’s Urgent Appeal EGY 004 / 0616 / OBS 049.9, published on January 11, 2017.
[3] See the Observatory’s Urgent Appeals EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 075, published on May 24, 2018, EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 069, published on May 23, 2018 and EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059.1, published on May 14, 2018.

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