Egypt: Ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of human rights lawyer Malek Adly

Urgent Appeal

EGY 004 / 0816 / OBS 069
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment /
Torture / Ill-treatment
August 4, 2016

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.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the ongoing arbitrary detention and judicial harassment 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 July 31, 2016, the Prosecutor decided to extend Mr. Malek Adly’s detention, ongoing since May 5, 2016, for other 15 days pending further 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”. Mr. Malek Adly has been detained without formal charges and in solitary confinement in Mazraah Prison in Torah for 90 days [1].

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 then brought in the 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 3am to 7am. 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.

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 thecourt 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.

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 his poor detention conditions. Mr. Haitham Al-Harir, a member of Parliament, also filed several complaints to the Ministry of Interior regarding Malek Adly’s conditions of detention. The latest was filed on July 14.

The Observatory recalls that since the agreement with Saudi Arabia was signed, the Egyptian authorities have been targeting activists who expressed criticism regarding this decision. For example, on April 15, several activists demonstrated in Cairo inviting the population to join a further demonstration on April 25. Security forces arrested dozens of them.

The Observatory strongly condemns the allegations of torture and ill-treatment against Mr. Malek Adly and his poor detention conditions and calls upon the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him and drop all charges against him, as they only aim at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities.

Finally, until all charges are dropped against him, the Observatory urges the Egyptian authorities to ensure that Mr. Malek Adly’s conditions of detention are humane and that all judicial proceedings against him are carried out in full compliance with his right to a fair trial, as protected under international law.

Actions requested:

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. Immediately drop all charges against Mr. Malek Adlyas they only aim at sanctioning his legitimate human rights activities;

iv. 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;

v. 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;

vi. 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;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:
· Minister of the Interior, General Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, Ministry of the Interior, El-Sheikh Rihan Street, Bab al-Louk, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail:, 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:, 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:
· H.E. Ms. Wafaa Bassim, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, 49 avenue Blanc, 1202 Genève, Switzerland, Email:, 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:

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country.

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