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La dura vita dei difensori dei diritti umani

L’Egitto è scomparso dai media main stream. Anzi di più. Di Egitto non si occupano quasi più neanche i think tank. Sembra essersi ormai diffusa l’opinione che quello che nulla sta accadendo in un Paese dal quale dipendono gli equilibri regionali, mediterranei e internazionali. Per fortuna che ci sono le Ong che continuano a fare anche il lavoro che i giornalisti non fanno, perché non vogliono o perché non glielo fanno fare.
Ecco allora che un gruppo di Ong lancia oggi questo quadro di casi giudiziari in corso. Un quadro tanto conciso, quanto preoccupante. Lo riporto, in inglese, invitando tutti a segnare i nomi di questi difensori dei diritti umani coinvolti nei casi e a seguire l’evoluzione delle loro vicende.Un grazie a EuroMed rights e all’Anhri.

Alaa Abdel Fattah fined for questioning the independence of the judiciary

On 15 October, blogger and human rights activist Alaa Abdel Fattah was sentenced by the Court of Cassation to a fine of EGP 30,000 for posting tweets questioning Egypt’s judiciary independence. The case includes 24 other defendants, including liberal opposition figure Amr Hamzawy. In 2015, Abdel Fattah was convicted of organising a protest against military trials for civilians in violation of the 2013 protest law. He has been serving a five-year prison sentence since 2013 based on those charges.

Activist Esraa Abdel-Fattah summoned in foreign funding case

On 9 October, the investigating judge in case 173/2011, known as the foreign funding case, interrogated Esraa Abdel-Fattah, a co-founder of the 6th of April movement, who was subsequently released on a bail of EGP 10,000. She is banned from travelling since 2013, when she was prevented from boarding a flight to Germany.

Haitham Mohamedeen released with precautionary measures over “metro protest” case

On 8 October, the Giza Criminal Court ordered the release of labour lawyer Haitham Mohamedeen and others involved in State Security case 718/2018 with precautionary measures. This case is known as the “Metro protests” case, in which the defendants face charges of membership in a terrorist group and unauthorised protest. The appeal of State Security Prosecution against the ruling was rejected.

Detention of activist Mohamed Adel renewed for 15 days pending investigation

On 8 October, Mansoura Prosecution renewed the detention of activist Mohamed Adel for 15 days pending investigation in case 4118/2018, in which he is accused of joining a terrorist group and spreading false news.

Rights Lawyer Khaled Ali banned from travelling

On 6 October, prominent human rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali received a travel ban, reportedly in relation to case 173/2011. Ali has provided legal support for several human rights defenders investigated in the case.

Lawsuit calling for the closure of human rights organisations

On 4 October, a State Council Administrative Judiciary Court adjourned its decision on lawsuit 2174/72 filed by lawyer Samir Sabry demanding the suspension of activities, revocation of licenses and closure of the offices of various human rights organisations in Egypt.

Detention of blogger Wael Abbas renewed for 15 days pending investigation

On 2 October, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of blogger Wael Abbas for 15 days pending investigation in State Security case 441/2018. He is charged with joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and using social media to promote the group’s ideas.

Detention of photojournalist Zeinab Abu Ouna and satirical blogger Khorm renewed

On 30 September and 1 October, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of photojournalist Zeinab Abu Ouna and satirical blogger Islam Zakryia al-Refaao, known as Khorm, for 15 days pending investigation in case 441/2018. Both are accused of membership in a terrorist group and spreading false news.

Amal Fathi sentenced to two years in prison

On 29 September, Maadi Misdemeanour Court sentenced woman human rights defender Amal Fathi to a two-year prison sentence in case 7991/2018 for spreading rumours with the aim of harming national security and attacking pubic decency. This relates to a video criticising sexual harassment in Egypt that she has posted on Facebook. The bail was set at EGP 20,000 and Fathi was fined an additional EGP 10,000.

On 10 October, a criminal court in Tora rejected her appeal against the latest pre-trial detention renewal issued by the State Security Prosecutor in case 621/2018, in which she is accused of joining a banned group. The Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed her detention on 14 October for 15 days, and the next renewal is expected on 28 October.

Detention of Shady Abu Zaid and Shady al-Ghazali renewed for 15 days

On 29 September, the State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of media professional and “Abla Fahita” TV show correspondent Shady Abu Zaid for 15 days pending investigation in State Security case 621/2018. He is charged with cooperating with a terrorist group and spreading false news.

On 9 October, a Cairo criminal court extended the pre-trial detention of youth activist Shady al-Ghazali Harb for 45 days as part of the same case.

Asset freeze upheld for opposition figures in Masoum Marzouk’s case

On 26 September, the North Cairo Criminal Court upheld the request submitted by the public prosecutor to freeze the assets of 16 defendants in State Security case 1305/2018, including former diplomat Masoum Marzouk and economist Raed Salama, who were arrested in August. The court did not give access to the case file to the defence team, nor did it let them plead orally or in writing for each one of the defendants, thus severely limiting the defendants’ right to defend themselves.

In related news, on 2 October, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the 15-day detention of those of the defendants in that case that have been detained pending investigation, including Masoum Marzouk, Raed Salama, university professor Yehia al-Qazzaz and activists Sameh Seoudi, Amr Mohamed and Abdel Fattah al-Banna. They face charges of belonging to a terrorist group, inciting protest, and receiving funds with terrorist intent.

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