Last Update : 07:55 <> 06/06/2021

Arresting the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights staff Applying the anti-terrorism law against human rights organizations in Egypt


The Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession (ACIJLP) is deeply concerned about and condemns the judicial and security targeting of three leaders in the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR). Gasser Abdelrazek the groups executive manager Karim Ennarah the criminal justice director and Mohamed Basheer the administrative manager were arrested and detained starting 19 November. They are being questioned in the case 885/2020.

The ACIJLP is extremely worried and decries the accusations leveled at the EIPR team including joining a terrorist group and creating an account on social media to spread false news that harm public security. These charges are included in several laws and legislation the Egyptian government has issued throughout the past five years which it said were produced as part of the states plan to combat terrorism such as the anti-terrorism law the organization of terrorist entities law and the law on combating cybercrime.

The incident confirms the fears expressed by the Egyptian civil society. These laws are extremely dangerous because they can be used against the civil society to silence the voices of human rights defenders who have been working in hazardous conditions since the movement was established in the first half of the 1980s.

The Egyptian authorities repeated attempts to suppress human rights organizations that operate according to international legal references that the Egyptian government pledged to respect have been ongoing since 2011. These attempts have gained accelerated momentum since 2014

The ACIJLP believes the measures taken against the EIPR staff is a flagrant violation of the EUROMED agreement Egypt joined in 2004 as well as the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders in addition to being a blatant break from the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

The ACIJLP condemns the detention of the EIPR staff and demands their immediate and unconditional release by the Egyptian authorities.