Egypt: unfair trial for woman human rights defender Amal Fathy

Egypt, Justice and the Rule of Law, Press Release

Read in:  Arabic 

Brussels, 11 April 2019

EuroMed Rights and the Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group (SIHRG) express concern over serious violations committed by Egypt during the trial of Amal Fathy and urge  the EU to raise individual cases of human rights defenders publicly, in line with the EU guidelines on human rights defenders.

In their joint trial observation report, launched Wednesday 10 April at a public event hosted by Ana Gomes, MEP, at the European Parliament, EuroMed Rights and SIHRG raised concern over what they find to be breaches of Ms Fathy’s fair trial rights, namely: her right to know the details of the charges against her, to prepare a defence, and to be presumed innocent, as well as her right to legal assistance and her right to call and examine witnesses.

Speaking at the event, Ana Gomes stated that “it is absolutely outrageous that the exposure of sexual harassment by Amal Fathy has led to judicial proceedings against her and the intimidation of her family. This case is exemplary of a pattern of gross abuses of human rights in Egypt.”

Mohamed Lotfy, Amal Fathy’s husband and executive director of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, detailed the harassment to which Amal and her family were subjected. He outlined that “Egyptian human rights defenders are suffering the worst crackdown since the human rights movement was established. All dissenting voices are being stifled and severe obstacles are inflicted on our work.”

Lionel Blackman, Chairman of SIHRG, said that “the report reveals severe violations of international law committed by Egypt during an unfair trial. Of particular concern is that many of the issues identified in Ms Fathy’s trial are not unique to her case but, we understand, are systemic within the Egyptian judicial system. The two organisations therefore recommend that Egyptian authorities urgently address fundamental concerns within the wider criminal justice system.”