Egypt: Re-arrest of Haytham Mohamadein

18/06/2019
Urgent Appeal

New information
EGY 003 / 0518 / OBS 069.2
Arbitrary arrest /
Judicial harassment
Egypt
June 18, 2019

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 re-arrest, incommunicado detention, and continuing judicial harassment of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein, labour rights lawyer at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) and a member of El-Nadim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture, 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 May 12, 2019, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was summoned to El-Saff police station in Giza in relation to the probationary measures issued against him in case No. 718 of 2018 for which he was charged with "aiding a terrorist organisation to achieve its goals" and "calling for illegal protests" on May 19, 2018 (see background information). After presenting himself at the police station, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein went missing. After initially denying it, on May 13, 2019, El-Saff police officers finally recognised his detention at the police station but denied his lawyer and family their rights to visit and contact him until May 16.

On May 14, 2019, El-Saff police officers submitted a report to the prosecution on Mr. Haytham Mohamadein’s alleged lack of compliance with his probationary measures. Neither Mr. Mohamadein nor his lawyer were given the opportunity to read or answer the report. The office of the Prosecutor did not take any decision on the case and returned the report to the police station, and police officers submitted it again on May 15, 2019.

On May 16, 2019, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was brought before the State Security Prosecution, in relation to case No. 741 of 2019, on allegations of "aiding a terrorist organisation to achieve its goals" and “misuse of social media”. On the same day, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was transferred to Giza central prison, a Central Security Forces Camp on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road, where he remains detained. Members of first degree of his family can visit him once a week.

On May 28 and June 13, 2019 the State Security Prosecution renewed Mr. Haytham Mohamadein’s pre-trial detention in case No. 741.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was arrested on May 18, 2018 and released on probation pending trial on October 29, 2018 (see background information). Since his release, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein had to present himself twice a week to El-Saff police station, for two hours at night.

The Observatory strongly condemns the ongoing judicial harassment and arbitrary arrest of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein, which seems to be only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory further recalls that shortly after Mr. Haytham Mohamadein’s arrest, Mr. Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, another ECRF member, was arrested [1].

The Observatory denounces a wider trend of harassment and arbitrary detentions against human rights defenders in Egypt and 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 that 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, 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 2018, Mr. Haytham Mohamadein was transferred to Qanater prison, after the first extension of his pre-trial detention by the prosecution.

On October 8, 2018, Giza Criminal Court, circuit 14, decided to release Mr. Haytham Mohamadein on probation pending trial. This decision 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 in the suburbs of Giza, on October 29, 2018.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

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

ii. Release immediately and unconditionally Mr. Haytham Mohamadein and all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in Egypt as their detention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing them for their human rights activities;

iii. Guarantee the unhindered access of Mr. Haytham Mohamadein to a lawyer of his choice and his family members;

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. 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
• 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 representations of Egypt in your respective countries.

***
Paris-Geneva, June 18, 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 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 Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 002 / 0619 / OBS 050, published on June 14, 2019.

Read more
appelobs