Many were moved to solitary confinement cells or to another notorious prison, Tora Maximum Security Two, after the incident. In a retrial, a Terrorism Circuit in the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 20 people to death, 17 of whom remain on death row. Nine Egyptian human rights organizations denounced the verdict, highlighting gross violations of fair trial rights including defendants being denied access to their lawyers during their detention, being interrogated without the presence of lawyers, and being forced to “confess”. Amnesty International has documented the Egyptian authorities’ routine and systematic use counter-terror legislation to prosecute thousands of peaceful critics and suspend guarantees to fair trial. But Egypt has repeatedly denied accusations of human rights violations. 184 people, sentencing 183 (34 in their absence) to death and a child to 10 years in prison and acquitted two people, while two others died by the time of the verdict. Share Copy Print . Wael Tawadros said that when a judge ordered that he be taken to hospital for a medical test, the officer ordered a medical worker to write that he was fine. Egypt … However, there has not been an independent and transparent investigation into the incident. On the same day, judicial authorities added human rights defender and founder of Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms Mohamed al-Baqer to the "terrorists list" for five years, along with prominent blogger and activist Alaa Abdelfatah and other opposition politicians, without charging them with a criminal offence, nor giving them an opportunity to challenge the evidence. Middle East News Agency symposium tackles human rights in Egypt. Authorities arrested staff members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) between 15 and 19 November and interrogated them about the organization’s criminal justice work, including its November publication on the alarming rise in executions. Refunds of donations. States and UN actors cannot continue to tolerate a status quo in which civil society is being cut off and suffocated without consequence; they must, through word and deed, demand meaningful improvements to the human rights situation in Egypt. Egypt rights group says third member arrested in less than a week. Your choice regarding cookies on this site   |   Egypt adopts integrated human rights concept, including right to health, security, education, and … These executions are particularly appalling given the well documented and systematic breaches of fair trial rights in Egypt, with courts often relying on torture-tainted ‘confessions.’ Not only are the Egyptian authorities trampling on the right to life in shocking disregard for their obligations under international law, but they are also punishing the brave human rights defenders at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights documenting and speaking out these violations. A fourth staff member, Patrick George Zaki has been in prison since his, Egypt: Abused and denied heath care, prisoners’ lives at risk, Human rights lawyers become “endangered species” in Turkey, “We wish to overcome the decades of marginalization that brought us here”. “The international community must show to Egypt that they utterly reject the equation of defending human rights with terrorism and continue to demand the immediate and unconditional release of all detained human rights defenders in Egypt.". "Into the dustbin of history" was an indignant tweet posted by rights activist and former TV presenter Gameela Ismail — an apparent rebuke to Trump. A fourth staff member, Patrick George Zaki has been in prison since his arrest in February 2020 upon his return from Italy where he was studying. Egyptian authorities have also clamped down on human rights organizations working on the death penalty. Pro-government media reported 91 executions citing anonymous official sources since October. Cookie Statement You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. The security forces raided the home of Mohamed Basheer, the human resources director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), in the … Refunds of donations. Egypt’s human rights foundation renews complaint to UNHCR over Qatar’s violations The organisation has also called on Qatar to stop arresting its citizens, including a member of … Others held at the same prison were granted such rights. Multiple UN experts have expressed concern about how Egypt’s terrorism laws facilitate rights abuses, and how imprisoned human rights defenders in Egypt are at grave risk of COVID-19. Ensure more transparency and ex ante human rights impact assessments for all forms of financial support or training provided by the EU to Egypt, both directly and indirectly, in order to ensure that EU support does not in any way facilitate or contribute to human rights violations in Egypt. The group contends that crimes of torture occur in Egyptian streets in broad daylight, at police checkpoints, and in people's homes in flagrant violation of the people's dignity and freedom.` Written by Eldar Mamedov. Privacy Policy Torture is rampant in Egypt, and frequently used to extract “confessions”, while courts regularly fail to order investigations into allegations of torture and admit torture-tainted “confessions” as evidence. In October and November alone, the Egyptian authorities executed at least 57 men and women, nearly double the recorded 32 people they executed throughout 2019, Amnesty International said today. Permissions The Egyptian authorities regularly use unfounded "terrorism" related charges to imprison human rights defenders and to subject them to punitive measures without trial. On 23 November, Amnesty International along with other organizations, participated in a meeting hosted by a number of Human Rights Ambassadors focused on how to respond to the arrests against EIPR staff, and the larger context of repression against civil society. They also prevented him from purchasing basic necessities from the prison canteen. Annual report 2019: Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Egypt: Abused and denied heath care, prisoners’ lives at risk, Ukraine: ECHR ruling on EuroMaydan protesters is a crucial step towards justice, “We wish to overcome the decades of marginalization that brought us here”, Human rights lawyers become “endangered species” in Turkey. They include Zyad el-Elaimy, a human rights lawyer and member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, who was arrested for attempting to co-found a parliamentary coalition called the “Hope Coalition” to run in the 2020 parliamentary elections, and Abeer el-Safty, a journalist who has been detained following her refusal to be coerced by the police into voting in a 2019 referendum. Yesterday, Gasser Abdel- Razek appeared before a prosecutor for questioning, and a meeting of ambassadors to the Human Rights Council took place in Geneva to discuss the international response. ... 11 Nov 2020. To our knowledge, however, this is the first case of reprisals against civil society for engaging with a group of diplomatic representatives, thereby representing an escalation in the authorities’ crackdown. According to his family, Wael Tawadros was arrested and held in an undisclosed location between 2 and 28 August 2018, where the Ministry of Interior refused to acknowledge his detention and reveal his location to his family and denied him access to his lawyer, effectively subjecting him to enforced disappearance. He was also denied the right to an adequate defense. Given the Egyptian authorities lack of transparency, the number of prisoners currently at risk of execution is unknown. 17 December 2020 Egypt: Further information: Human rights defenders released: Gasser Abdel Razek, Karim Ennarah and Mohamed Basheer Research “We call on the Egyptian authorities to commute all death sentences, and to quash convictions and order fair retrials without recourse to the death penalty for Wael Tawadros and anyone else convicted after unfair trials. Privacy Policy The prisoners suffer increasing violations in Egypt today, especially in light of the persisting crisis of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, since March 2020, isolated prisoners have … According to the Egyptian Front for Human Rights, as of June authorities executed at least 15 prisoners in three cases on political grounds. Political parties faced arbitrary restrictions on their work, such as organizing public events, and increasing arrests of their members. Gasser Abdel-Razek, Criminal Justice Unit director Karim Ennarah and Administrative Director Mohamed Basheer, are all detained pending investigations into bogus “terrorism”-related charges, solely as a result of the EIPR’s human rights work. Amnesty International fears that Gasser Abdel-Razek is being deliberately held in poor conditions to punish him for his human rights work. Permissions Egypt. Amnesty International has previously documented concerns over the breaches of fair trial standards in such mass trials especially and the failure to demonstrate individual criminal responsibility. Ensure more transparency and ex ante human rights impact assessments for all forms of financial support or training provided by the EU to Egypt, both directly and indirectly, in order to ensure that EU support does not in any way facilitate or contribute to human rights violations in Egypt. Among those on death row after having exhausted all possibilities of appeal is Wael Tawadros, known as Father Isaiah, a monk who was convicted of killing Bishop Anba Epiphanius in April 2019. Prison guards beat 10 prisoners with water hoses, batons and sticks and confiscated prisoners’ belongings including bedding. In October and November, they executed an additional 38 men and four women, convicted of murder in regular criminal cases, as well as two men convicted of rape. On 20 November, the Spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed deep concern “that the targeting of human rights defenders and other activists, as well as further restrictions on freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly imposed in the country, are having a profound chilling effect on an already weakened Egyptian civil society.” On the same day, the Secretary General, through his Spokesperson, endorsed this statement. Experts believe that, by torturing children, Egypt is violating a range of rights contained in the CRC. Egypt Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government, Egypt has been experiencing its worst human rights crisis in many decades. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. Egypt must end crackdown on human rights defenders On Thursday and Friday, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions taking stock of the human rights situation in China, Iran and Egypt. Egypt, however, has repeatedly denied accusations of human rights violations. If you are talented and passionate about human rights then Amnesty International wants to hear from you. We also urge the international community, including UN human rights bodies, to publicly call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately halt executions, and for members of the UN Human Rights Council to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the human rights situation in Egypt,” said Philip Luther. In a retrial, a Terrorism Circuit in the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 20 people to death, 17 of whom remain on death row. The Egyptian authorities have embarked on a horrifying execution spree in recent months, putting scores of people to death, in some cases following grossly unfair mass trials. Official sources blamed the violence on an alleged escape attempt by prisoners. Violation of international law. Yet, of the two, Iran is the only one that faces real consequences in the form of EU sanctions for those violations. Human rights defenders Mohamed al-Baqer, Esraa Abdelfatah, Mahienour al-Masry and Solafa Magdy are detained pending investigations in the same case over similar "terrorism" related charges. The execution spree followed an incident at Tora Maximum Security Prison One known as al-Aqrab (Scorpion) on 23 September, when four prisoners on death row and four members of security forces were killed. Forced labour and the situation of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China As part of this broader response, it is time for the UN Human Rights Council to take immediate steps towards establishing a monitoring mechanism on Egypt.”. “The arrest of EIPR staff, following a meeting with diplomats, Gasser Abdel-Razek’s punitive treatment in detention and the designation of human rights defenders as ‘terrorists’, are the latest illustrations of how deep and catastrophic the crisis of human rights in Egypt has become. This horrific assault of the right to life included at least 15 people sentenced to death in cases relating to political violence following grossly unfair trials marred by forced “confessions” and other serious human rights violations including torture and enforced disappearances. December 22, 2020 . Three other men who were executed on 4 October had been convicted in another case of political violence in the aftermath of the authorities’ dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in. Prison authorities shaved his head completely, an unusual step for pre-trial detainees, raising further concerns over discriminatory and punitive treatment. — Soraya Rodríguez (@sorayarr_) December 18, 2020 Egypt rejected the resolution later on Friday, accusing the EU Parliament of pursuing “politicised objectives and an unbalanced policy”. Amnesty International has spoken to lawyers and relatives of prisoners who have been executed or are currently on death row and reviewed relevant legal documents, as well as reports from Egyptian NGO, media articles and Facebook posts by relatives of murder victims as well as those detained and executed. EIPR has been documenting and fighting against such violations for 18 years, and its staff are now paying a heavy price,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director.   |   Egyptian Front for Human Rights has released a report:” Systematic Violations & Overlooked Complaints: 300 Documented testimonies regarding the conditions of Egyptian prisons before the prosecution“. Cookie Statement In December 2014, a Terrorism Circuit of the Giza Criminal Court convicted 184 people, sentencing 183 (34 in their absence) to death and a child to 10 years in prison and acquitted two people, while two others died by the time of the verdict. 2 December 2020, 00:00 UTC. He was then beaten, given electric shocks, and ordered to act out the alleged murder on camera. The case, known as "Storming the Kerdasa police station", involved the death of 13 policemen. We call on the Egyptian authorities to commute all death sentences, and to quash convictions and order fair retrials without recourse to the death penalty for Wael Tawadros and anyone else convicted after unfair trials. In reality, the Egyptian authorities view legitimate human rights work like defending LGBTI rights, opposing the death penalty, defending religious minorities and promoting the right to health as terrorism” said Philip Luther. You can use this tool to change your cookie settings. Human Rights Watch | 350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor | New York, NY 10118-3299 USA | t 1.212.290.4700 Human Rights Watch is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit registered in … Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue. “Instead of responding to global calls to end the unprecedented attacks on the EIPR, the Egyptian authorities continue to add to the litany of committed human rights violations by deliberately ill-treating Gasser Abdel-Razek in solitary confinement without access to basic necessities as punishment for his human rights leadership.   |   ... highlighting gross violations of fair trial rights including defendants being denied access to their lawyers during their detention, ... and for members of the UN Human Rights Council to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the human rights situation in Egypt… The European Parliament issued a resolution on the human rights situation in Egypt on 18 December 2020, which is International Migrants Day. The defendants told Supreme State Security Prosecutors that they had been subjected to enforced disappearance and torture, however there was no investigation into these complaints. “These executions are particularly appalling given the well documented and systematic breaches of fair trial rights in Egypt, with courts often relying on torture-tainted ‘confessions.’ Not only are the Egyptian authorities trampling on the right to life in shocking disregard for their obligations under international law, but they are also punishing the brave human rights defenders at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights documenting and speaking out these violations.”. We also urge the international community, including UN human rights bodies, to publicly call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately halt executions, and for members of the UN Human Rights Council to establish a monitoring and reporting mechanism on the human rights situation in Egypt. If you are talented and passionate about human rights then Amnesty International wants to hear from you. ... 18 November 2020. On 4 October, 10 men were executed after being convicted and sentenced to death, in the case known as "Agnad Masr," involving violent attacks on officials and public property. whereas following a meeting with 13 foreign ambassadors and diplomats on 3 November 2020, three activists of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), one of the last independent human rights organisations in Egypt, Gasser Abdel Razek, Karim Ennarah, and Mohammad Basheer, were arrested by security forces and charged with terrorism and national security related offences between 15 and 19 … Since his transfer to Liman Tora Prison on 20 November, Gasser Abdel-Razek, a veteran human rights defender and father-of-two, has been held in solitary confinement in a cold cell, denied warm clothing or a mattress. Wael Tawadros was sentenced to death following a grossly unfair trial, where the court relied on his torture-tainted ‘confessions’ to secure a conviction. “The human rights situation in Egypt has continued to deteriorate as authorities intensify their crackdown on civil society, human rights defenders, health workers, journalists, opposition members, academics, and lawyers,” the parliament said in the document. 2020 Election; Facts First ... issues as well as ways of supporting the enhancement of human rights in Egypt and globally," EIPR said. Human rights violation: 7.7 In Algeria, freedom of expression and assembly are being repressed more and more by the government with inevitable censorship of media. Your choice regarding cookies on this site In a statement last month, EIPR said security forces had arrested its lead member Gasser Abdel-Razek at … 8 January 2021 Egypt: Further Information: Human Rights Defender Detained in New Case: Ibrahim Ezz El-Din Research Egypt. The authorities continued to severely restrict human rights organizations’ and political parties’ freedom of association. The outgoing US president had largely turned a blind eye to human rights violations in Egypt and the Middle East region and had even jokingly described Sisi as "my favorite dictator." Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.   |   We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. According to a video statement given by Wael Tawadros in court, examined by Amnesty International, police officers stripped him naked, then took him to the monastery and told him to wear his monk robe. The cruel and inhuman treatment meted out in prison against Gasser Abdel-Razek, Executive Director of Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) is outrageous and shows the Egyptian authorities’ determination to escalate this crackdown against human rights defenders, said Amnesty International. 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