Arrest of human rights lawyers and activists in Egypt

Egypt, Press Release, Shrinking Space for Civil Society

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Press Release

Brussels, 2 November 2018

EuroMed Rights is extremely concerned about the arrest of 18 human rights lawyers and activists in a series of raids by security forces in Egypt on 1 November. Huda Abdelmonem, a human rights defender and former member of the Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights, is among those arrested.

We express our solidarity with the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, which announced the indefinite suspension of its activities to protest the campaign of arrests conducted this Thursday. Its executive director, Ezzat Ghoneim, has been missing since September, when his pre-trial detention should have ended following a court order in case 441/2018.

EuroMed Rights echoes ECRF’s call on Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights to react urgently to this blatant attack against the human rights community and those who peacefully defend the rights of the Egyptian people during the worst human rights crisis in the country’s recent history.

We regret that in this context, an EU-Egypt Association Committee will be held in Cairo on 8 November, as part of the European Union’s strengthened bilateral cooperation with Egypt.

We urge the European Union and its Member States not to waste this opportunity and resort to both public and private channels to call for the release of the detainees and take a principled stance in support of democracy and human rights.

Background information

Ezzat Ghoneim and Azzouz Mahgoub of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms were disappeared in September 2018.
Those detained on 1 November 2018 are Hoda Abdelmoniem, Mohamed Abu Horira, Aisha Al-Shater, Samia Nassif, Sahar Hathut, Riwaya Al-Shafai, Alia Ismail, Iman Al-Qadi, Marwa Ahmad Madbouli, Baha Oda, Shadi Abu Al-Nagha, Tareq Al-Salkawy, Ahmed Al-Hadhbi, Mohamed Al-Ahadhbi, Ismail Shahat, Salwy Abdel Karim, Osama Ibrahim and Ibrahim Ata.