Partners in Repression: Judicial harassments faced by the human rights defenders in Egypt

Partners in Repression: Judicial harassments faced by the human rights defenders in Egypt

HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement launches the “Partners in Repression” report, which highlights judicial harassment and violations against human rights defenders in Egypt as a result of practicing their human rights work or practicing their right to peaceful assembly and association.

In the context of authoritarian regimes such as Egypt, human rights defenders face numerous harassments by the government, either in the form of laws and legislation, often aimed at confiscating the right to assembly and shutting people’s mouths, or policies that have no legal, legislative or constitutional justification, which is exercised by the State against defenders, such as torture, enforced disappearance, travel bans and various forms of intimidation and moral abuse. The report analyses the forms of judicial harassments against human rights defenders in Egypt on both the organizational and individual levels by the judicial authority, following the military coup that took place on the 3rd of July 2013 and still goes on to date.

This report aims to highlight the violations and harassments perpetrated by the Egyptian authorities and, in particular, the judicial authorities, against human rights defenders in Egypt between July 2013 and the first quarter of 2022

Accordingly, the report presents a series of laws linked directly or indirectly to the defense of human rights, promulgated by former interim President Adli Mansour in the absence of the legislature at that time, as well as those issued by the legislative authority following its formation and convening. These laws are the following:  Law No. 107 of 2013 For organizing the right to peaceful public meetings, processions, and protests, and its amendments in 2017 which then became famous as the protest law, Anti-Terrorism Law No. 94 of 2015, with its most recent amendments in March 2020, known as the terrorism law. Regulation of Lists of Terrorist Entities and Terrorists Act No. 8, and its latest amendments were in March 2020 and is known as the Terrorist Entities Law. Regulation of Private Employment Practice Law 149 of 2019 known as the Private Labor Law. The 2018 Law on the Organization of Press, Media, and the Supreme Council of Media is known as media Law. Law No. 175 of 2018 on Anti-Cyber And Information Technology Crimes.

The report found specific patterns of judicial harassment against human rights defenders by the Egyptian authorities, which are divided into two groups: The first is an extrajudicial process, which means that the defender isn’t being held into custody due to a pending investigation or sentenced to be imprisoned. Whereas the second group includes the harassments against defenders who have been sentenced to imprisonment or are still into custody due to a pending investigation.

Regarding the first group, the most prominent harassments identified in this report are:

·               Banning human rights defenders from traveling

·               Seizing the funds of human rights defenders and human rights organizations 

The second set of judicial harassments is the one occurring when human rights defenders are arrested and detained over a pending investigation and/or after being sentenced:

·               Excessive pre-trial detention and linking human rights defenders to other cases

·               Harassments during the investigations

·               Prosecuting the defenders in special courts

·               Including the defenders on the terrorism lists


Finally, the report reviews two exemplary cases of a human rights defender with the aim to highlight violations of fair trial guarantees suffered by defenders from the moment of their arrest to the moment these very words have been written, and they are Lawyer Mohammed AL BAQER, founder of the Adalah Center For Human Rights Studies, and lawyer Huda ABDEL MONEEM, who was arrested since November 2018, and is being prosecuted under the Case No. 1552 of 2018 by the Supreme State Security Prosecution.


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