Egypt: Release of human rights defender Ibrahim Ezz El-Din

05/05/2022
Urgent Appeal
Credit: Ibrahim Ezz El-Din

New information
EGY 002 / 0619 / OBS 050.3
Release /
Judicial harassment
Egypt
May 5, 2022

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

New information:

The Observatory has been informed about the release of Mr. Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, a human rights defender, urban planning engineer and researcher on the right to housing at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), a human rights law firm based in Cairo operating in several governorates. Before his arbitrary detention, Mr. Ezz El-Din documented living conditions in slums, forced evictions and Egypt’s urban planning policies.

On April 23, 2022, the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) ordered the release of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din. He was effectively released on April 26, 2022, without probation requirements, after 1,050 days of pre-trial arbitrary detention. However, the charges against Ibrahim Ezz El-Din were not dropped.

The Observatory welcomes the release of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din but urges the authorities to drop all charges against him and underlines that he should have never been detained in the first place.

The Observatory recalls that Egyptian authorities have increasingly employed repressive tactics such as prolonged pre-trial detention, recycling cases against dissidents, enforced disappearance, torture, unjust sentences and judicial harassment to silence all critical voices and punish them for their legitimate human rights activities, including through unfounded investigations for national security and counter-terrorism related charges.

The Observatory reiterates its utmost concern over the arbitrary detention against human rights defenders and recalls that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention highlighted that there is “a systemic problem with arbitrary detention in Egypt”. Moreover, the prison conditions in the country are inhumane, including denial the of family visits, lack of access to lawyers, and inadequate medical care leading or contributing to death in custody.

Therefore, the Observatory calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders arbitrarily detained and put an immediate end to all acts of harassment against them.

Actions requested:  
 
Please write to the authorities in Egypt, urging them to:
- immediately and unconditionally put an end to all acts of harassment against Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, including at the judicial level;
- immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders in Egypt, as their detention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing them for their legitimate human rights activities. 

Addresses:
- President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, 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
- 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, 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, Email: embassy.egypt@skynet.be

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country. 
 
***
Geneva-Paris, May 5, 2022
 
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. OMCT and FIDH 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 OMCT: +41 22 809 49 29
- Tel FIDH: +33 1 43 55 18 80

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