17 Egyptian rights organizations, presented an oral intervention on Friday during the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council.
In the intervention, the organizations expressed their deep concern for practices and violations against human rights defenders in Egypt, ranging from travel bans and threats of sexual assault to prosecution and imprisonment. The intervention noted that since the beginning of 2015, at least 13 human rights defenders have been banned from travel, among them Hossam Bahgat, Gamal Eid, and Israa Abd al-Fattah.
The organizations condemned the use of pretrial detention as a punitive measure, citing the case of Aya Hegazy, who has been held on remand with seven other persons awaiting trial for nearly two years, as well as Hisham Gaafar, who has now been detained for four months. The intervention added that activists like Mahinour al-Masri, Gamila Ahmed Sirri, Shaimaa Ahmed Saad, Abir Mustafa, Alaa Abd al-Fattah, Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma, and others have been sentenced to prison for exercising their right of peaceful assembly.
The organizations demanded the release of all persons detained for exercising their right of freedom of expression and opinion. They also directed several questions to the UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders, asking him if he had applied for an official visit to Egypt and, if so, why the visit had not taken place. The organizations also asked the rapporteur how he would deal with the issue of human rights in Egypt, especially human rights defenders, if he were denied permission to visit.
The organizations: Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, ADALAH Center for Rights & Freedoms “ACRF”, Alhaqanya Foundation of Rights and freedoms, Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies, Arab Network for Human Rights Information, Arab Penal Reform Organization, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, Egyptian Commission for rights and freedoms, El-Nadeem Centre for the rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture, Foundation Of The Victims Of Abduction And Forced Disappearance, Masryoon Against Religious Discrimination, National Community for Human Rights and Law, Nazra for Feminist Studies, The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement, The Egyptian Center for Public Policy Studies, and The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
To read the text of the intervention.
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