Egypt: Ongoing arbitrary detention of Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb

28/01/2019
Urgent Appeal

New information
EGY 004 / 0718 / OBS 090.2
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Egypt
January 28, 2019

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 intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the pursuit of the arbitrary detention and judicial harassment of Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb, human rights defender known for his role as a youth activist and leader in the 2011 revolution.

According to the information received, on January 8, 2019, Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb pre-trial detention was renewed for 45 days. He is accused of “joining a group established in violation to the provisions of the law and the constitution with the aim to disrupt state institutions, spread false news, and humiliate the President” (see background information). He is detained in solitary confinement at Qanater prison since May 16, 2018. At the time of publication of this appeal, his pre-trial detention had already been renewed 10 times for 15 days and three times for 45 days.

On January 25, 2019, on the day of the Egyptian Revolution’s eighth anniversary, Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb started a hunger strike to denounce his continuing arbitrary detention.

The Observatory recalls that the judicial harassment and arbitrary detention of Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb’s occurs in the context of a wave of arrests targeting human rights defenders in Egypt that started in May 2018 [1].

The Observatory condemns in the strongest terms this renewed crackdown targeting human rights defenders, and urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb, whose arbitrary detention only aims at sanctioning his human rights activities. Until then, the Observatory calls on the Egyptian authorities to guarantee the psychological and physical integrity of all human rights defenders.

The Observatory more generally urges the Egyptian authorities to put an end to all forms of harassment against them, including at the judicial level, and to refrain from further punishing their peaceful and legitimate human rights activities under trumped up, often terrorism-related charges.

Background information:

On May 15, 2018, Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb was arrested after he presented himself to the office of the general prosecution in Giza where he had been summoned by a warrant from the North Giza Court. Although he was initially granted a 50,000 EGP bail (approx. 2,400 Euros), he was then transferred to the Dokki police station where he was detained overnight.

On May 16, 2018 the State Security Prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days pending investigation into charges of case no. 621 of 2018, which is targeting a number of human rights defenders, bloggers and online activists.

Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb is being detained in solitary confinement at Qanater prison, where he does not have regular access to his family and lawyers. During the first 15 days of his detention, he was even denied access to a bed and he was not allowed to go outdoors.

On July 25, 2018, the pre-trial detention of Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb, has again been renewed for 15 days. Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb has been transferred to a new cell and his conditions of detention have deteriorated. His new cell is very dirty, hot, and no ventilation is available.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb, his relatives and all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb as his detention is arbitrary;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Dr. Shadi al-Ghazali Harb 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 4716Head 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.

***
Paris-Geneva, January 28, 2019

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 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 FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80
• Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

[1] See, among others, the Observatory Urgent Appeals EGY 002 / 0518 / OBS 059.9 published on January 11, 2019, EGY 005 / 1218 / OBS 141 published on December 14, 2018, EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 071.2 published on December 3, 2018 and EGY 004 / 1018 / OBS 124 published on October 16, 2018.

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