Egypt : Harassment and restrictions to freedom of movement against Mr. Mohamed Lotfy

04/06/2015
Appel urgent

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the harassment and restrictions to freedom of movement against Mr. Mohamed Lotfy.

URGENT APPEAL - THE OBSERVATORY

EGY 002 / 0615 / OBS 047
Harassment /
Restriction of freedom of movement
Egypt
June 4, 2015

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of theInternational Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt .

Description of the situation :

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the harassment and restrictions to freedom of movement against Mr. Mohamed Lotfy, Director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF).

According to information received, on June 2,2015, Mr. Mohamed Lotfy was held at Cairo airport by the police for a duration of three hours. He was travelling to Germany to carry out human rights advocacy activities and to speak before the German Parliament about the human rights situation in Egypt, in light of the forthcoming Egyptian President’s Abdelfattah Al-Sisi’s visit to Germany.

He was brought by an airport police officer to another officer who was in plain clothes and did not disclose his security agency of affiliation. This latter informed him that he was not allowed to fly to Germany for security reasons. When Mr. Mohamed Lotfy asked whether he had a travel ban, the police officer did not give him a definite answer and informed him that a security agency would contact him the following day in order to explain the reasons behind the prevention of travel and in order to return his passport.

The Observatory strongly condemns the harassment and restrictions to freedom of movement of Mr. Mohamed Lotfy and fears that he may be targeted because of his legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately return Mr. Mohamed Lofty’s passport and to put an end to all acts of harassment against him and all other human rights defenders in Egypt.

Actions requested :

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to :

i. Put an end to all forms of harassment, including restrictions of freedom of movement, against Mr. Mohamed Lotfy and all human rights defenders in Egypt ;

ii. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with :

- its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels” ;
- its Article 5(a) : “For the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms, everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, at the national and international levels (a) To meet or assemble peacefully”
- its Article 6(a), which foresees that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms” ;
- its Article 12.2, which provides that “the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration” ;

iv. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards and international instruments ratified by Egypt.

Addresses :

· President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Abedine Palace, Cairo, Egypt, Fax : +202 23901998
· Prime Minister, Mr. Ibrahim Mehleb, Magles El Shaab Street, Kasr El Aini Street, Cairo, Egypt. Fax : + 202 2735 6449 / 27958016. Email : primemin@idsc.gov.eg
· Minister of the Interior, General Mohamed Ibrahim Moustafa, Ministry of the Interior, El-Sheikh Rihan Street, Bab al-Louk, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail : moi1@idsc.gov.eg, Fax : +202 2579 2031 / 2794 5529
· Minister of Justice, Mr. Ahmed Al-Zanad, Ministry of Justice, Magles El Saeb Street, Wezaret Al Adl, Cairo, Egypt, E-mail : mojeb@idsc.gov.eg, Fax : +202 2795 8103
· Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Hisham Barakat Dar al-Qadha al-Ali, Ramses Street, Cairo, Egypt, Fax : +202 2577 4716
· Mr. Mohamed Fayeq, President of the National Council For Human Rights, Fax : + 202 25747497 / 25747670. Email : nchr@nchr.org.eg
· H.E. Ms. Wafaa Bassim, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, 49 avenue Blanc, 1202 Genève, Switzerland, Email : mission.egypt@ties.itu.int, Fax : +41 22 738 44 15
· Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, 19 avenue de l’Uruguay, 1000 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, June 4, 2015

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need.

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