Egypt: Renewed judicial harassment and arbitrary detention of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din

05/01/2021
Urgent Appeal

New information
EGY 002 / 0619 / OBS 050.3
Arbitrary detention /
Judicial harassment
Egypt
January 5, 2021

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.

New information:

The Observatory deplores the renewed judicial harassment and ongoing arbitrary detention of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, 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.

On December 27, 2020, the Cairo Criminal Court ordered the release on probation of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, who has been kept in preventive detention since November 26, 2019 in the framework of the investigations in Case 488 of 2019 on charges of “contributing to the achievement of the objectives of a terrorist group” and “publication of false information undermining national security”.

On December 28, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din was transferred to the Samanoud police station, Gharbia Governorate. Although all the release procedures were completed by December 31, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din was kept in detention under the pretext that a “National Security Permit” was still pending.

Furthermore, on January 2, 2021, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) in Cairo in connection with a new case brought against him. The SSSP ordered Ibrahim Ezz El-Din’s pre-trial detention for 15 days per Case 1018 of 2020,pending investigations over charges of “belonging to a terrorist group”. The decision was based on a report submitted by a National Security agent, the access to which has been denied to Ibrahim Ezz El-Din’s lawyer. Ibrahim Ezz El-Din is currently being detained at Tora Prison Complex, Cairo.

The Observatory denounces the SSSP’s decision and condemns the Egyptian authorities’ use of the fight against terrorism to target human rights defenders.

The Observatory recalls that Ibrahim Ezz El-Din has been arbitrarily detained since November 26, 2019, after disappearing for more than 167 days. During his detention, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din was tortured to extract information about his relationship to ECRF and about ECRF’s work, as well as kept in inhumane and degrading conditions of detention at several security agencies locations.

The Observatory further recalls that Egyptian authorities have increasingly employed repressive tactics such as the arbitrary revival of cases, prolonged pre-trial detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and judicial harassment to silence all critical voices, including through unfounded investigations for national security and counter-terrorism related charges.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the renewed judicial harassment and ongoing arbitrary detention of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din and calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release him.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Egypt, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Ibrahim Ezz El-Din as well as of all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally release Ibrahim Ezz El-Din as his detention is arbitrary since it only seems to aim at punishing him for his human rights activities;

iii. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, as well as of all human rights defenders in Egypt and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrance.

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, January 5, 2021

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 (0) 22 809 49 39
· Tel FIDH +33 (0) 1 43 55 25 18

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