Egypt: Threats against Mr. Gamal Eid

01/11/2019
Urgent Appeal

New information
EGY 008/ 1019 / OBS 081.2
Threats / Intimidation /
Arbitrary detention
Egypt
November 1, 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 urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

New information:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about threats and acts of intimidation against Mr. Gamal Eid, Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

According to the information received, on October 31, 2019, one of ANHRI lawyer’s car was violently smashed by security forces at dawn. This car had been borrowed by Mr. Gamal Eid on October 30, 2019. Mr. Gamal Eid’s neighbours reported having witnessed seven individuals carrying firearms who stopped by the car in the evening of October 30, and called somebody mentioning the car details.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Gamal Eid was physically assaulted on October 10, 2019, and that a few weeks before, his car was stolen on main street during busy hours. The Observatory fears the above-mentioned acts constitute acts of harassment targeting Mr. Eid for his human rights activities.

The Observatory further recalls that Mr. Amr Imam, a human rights lawyer at ANHRI, remains detained Tora Al-Mazraa prison (see background information).

The Observatory emphasises that the threats against Mr. Gamal Eid and the ongoing arbitrary detention of Mr. Amr Imam take place in the context of a wide-range repression targeting several human rights defenders including blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah and his lawyer, Mohamed Al Baqer [1], women’s rights defender Asmaa Dabees [2], journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah [3] and human rights lawyer Mahienour El Massry [4]. It should be added that Msses. Esraa Abdel Fattah and Mahienour El Massry are both also being prosecuted under the same criminal case, Case 488/2019.

The Observatory expresses its utmost concern over the threats against Mr. Gamal Eid, and calls on the Egyptian authorities to carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned acts in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law. The Observatory also calls on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Amr Imam, as his detention seems to be only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities, and put an end to any acts of harassment against him and all human rights defenders in Egypt.

Background information:

On October 10, 2019, Mr. Gamal Eid was beaten repeatedly with the butt of a gun by an unknown attacker who stole his cellphone, tried to steal his backpack and fired a shot in the air while fleeing the scene with an accomplice who had a motorcycle. The beatings resulted in a fractured rib and bruises for Mr. Gamal Eid. The incident happened on main street and during busy hours (between 6 and 8pm).

On October 16, 2019 at dawn, Mr. Amr Imam was abducted by police officers from his home in Cairo. While Mr. Amr Imam managed to publish a brief post about his arrest on Facebook, the security forces then refused him his right to make a phone call to his lawyer or family members. Mr. Amr Imam’s fate and whereabouts remained unknown for almost 24 hours, despite attempts to locate him. In the previous days, Mr. Amr Imam had publicly announced his intention to start a hunger strike to denounce police abuses, including multiple cases of abduction and enforced disappearances, acts of torture and ill-treatment as well as the lack of accountability from the of police officers for their crimes.

On October 17, 2019, Mr. Amr Imam appeared before State Security Prosecution and was assigned to Criminal Case 488/2019 for “collaborating with a terrorist organisation having knowledge of its goals”, “spreading false news” and “misusing one of the social networking tools”. The Prosecutor ordered a 15-day pre-trial detention against Mr. Amr Imam, who is now detained at Tora Al-Mazraa, in which family visits and access to lawyer are severely restricted [5].

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 Messrs. Gamal Eid and Amr Imam as well as of all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thorough investigation into the above-mentioned events in order to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;

iii. Immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Amr Imam, as his detention is arbitrary as it seems only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judicial level, against Messrs. Gamal Eid and Amr Imam and all human rights defenders in Egypt and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrance;

v. Conform in all circumstances to the provisions of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted on December 9, 1998 by the United Nations General Assembly, in particular its Articles 1 and 12.2.;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international 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 

• 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 missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country. 

***
Paris-Geneva, November 1, 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 (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 004 / 0919 / OBS 075.2, published on October 10, 2019.
[2] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 005 / 0919 / OBS 076.1, published on October 4, 2019.
[3] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 006 / 1019 / OBS 079, published on October 15, 2019.
[4] See Observatory Urgent Appeal EGY 003 / 0919 / OBS 074, published on September 23, 2019.
[5] According to the law, access to family and lawyer is not allowed in the first ten days of pre-trial detention.

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