Arresting and targeting of activists aims at ending the work of civil society in Egypt
Arab organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) stated that the continued detention of three Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) members in Egypt, including the executive director is a clear challenge to the international community. The arrest came after members of the EIPR had a meeting in Cairo earlier this month with high-ranking Western diplomats to discuss Egypt’s human rights issues.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry’s statements came in response to a wave of extreme criticism by many European countries. The Ministry considered claims to release them as “attempts to influence the progress of investigations with the defendants”.
AOHR UK considered these statements to be simply absurd and an attempt to promote a false image about the independence of the Egyptian judicial system.
On Thursday, November 19 2020, Egyptian Security Forces arrested, Jasir Abdel Razek, executive director of the initiative, at his his home in Cairo, and arrested Karim Ennarah, head of the criminal justice department of EIPR the day before from Southern Sinai and took him to an unknown destination. It also arrested the administrative director of EIPR Mohamed Bashir in Cairo on the November 15, 2020. The State Security Prosecutor’s Office charged the three detainees with terrorism and ordered their detention for 15 days pending investigation.
The Egyptian authorities systematically uses repressive practices, through an arbitrary system aimed at silencing human rights defenders and activists. It targets them via a fully disabled, politicised and flawed judicial system to completely end the civil society work in Egypt, added AOHR UK.
AOHR UK calls on the international community to press the Egyptian regime to stop its repressive policies against civil society and human rights organisations, release EIPR members and all those arbitrarily detained for having dissenting views.