Egypt - Latest Developments
Thursday 16.6.2022 Egypt - Latest Developments -
Amid growning repression, on 10th January 2022, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued a statement saying that it had decided to suspend its activities as a result of increasing disregard for the rule of law, the growing violations of human rights and police harassment. Separately, civil society organisations criticised a bill which aims to amend several articles of the law regulating religious preaching and lessons. The proposed amendments seek to expand the scope of the law to include the prohibition of “talking about religious matters on visual, audio or electronic media” except with an official licence from Al-Azhar or the Ministry of Endowments, and increases penalties for violating the law, in some cases amounting to life imprisonment with hard labour. Meanwhile, authorities continued to use charges of joining a terrorist group, inciting a crime, and spreading false news against journalists. Read more
Thursday 9.9.2021 Egypt - Latest Developments -
HRDs continue to come under attack. Human right organisations raised concerns about Ahmed Samir Santawy, Egyptian researcher and anthropology student at the Central European University (CEU) in Vienna, Austria, who was sentenced to four years in prison on “false news” charges on 22nd June 2021. Furthermore, regarding updates on Case 173 of 2011 (known as the foreign funding case), at least five prominent human rights defenders were summoned during July 2021 for questioning, including Mozn Hassan, a women’s rights defender and director of Nazra for Feminist Studies; human rights lawyer Negad al-Borai; human rights activist and head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information Gamal Eid; and lawyer and head of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance Azza Soliman. On 30th August 2021, an Investigative Judge, authorised by the Cairo Court of Appeal, decided to drop case 173 against four human rights defenders. However, to date no decision has been made on charges against Mozn Hassan and the case against Nazra for Feminist studies. Read more
Tuesday 25.5.2021 Egypt - Latest Developments -
Despite some positive developments, journalists and HRDs remain under threat. While woman human rights defender and journalist Solafa Magdy and her husband Hossam Saiad were released from prison under precautionary measures, film editor Sanaa Seif was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on charges of 'spreading false rumours about the spread of COVID-19 in the Egyptian prisons' and 'the misuse of social media'. Journalist Hassan al-Banna has forcibly disappeared after being detained by the National Security Agency upon his arrival at Cairo airport on 18th April 2021, following his deportation to the country by Jordanian authorities. In addition, 29-year-old student and researcher Ahmed Samir Santawy has been arbitrarily detained since 1st February 2021 on bogus terrorism-related charges.
Monday 22.2.2021 Egypt - Latest Developments -
Restricted civic space and the worsening situation for human rights defenders continue in Egypt. While the three EIPR staff members, namely Gasser Abdel-Razek, Karim Ennarah and Mohamed Bashee were released, 7th February 2020 marks one year since the arrest of EIPR researcher and Bologna University student Patrick George Zaki. Graduate student Ahmed Samir Santawy was arrested on 1st February 2021, in relation to his research on women’s rights. In addition, the crackdown on freedom of expression continues. According to Reporters Without Borders, the number of journalists and bloggers detained in Egypt now stands at 33. In one case documented, freelance journalist Solafa Magdy was physically and sexually assaulted in police custody. Solafa and her husband were first arrested on 26th November 2019. Read more
Monday 23.11.2020 Egypt - Latest Developments -
Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) have been targeted by the authorities. Administrative manager, Mohammed Basheer; director of the criminal justice unit, Karim Ennarah and executive director Gasser Abdel Razek were all detained. In a separate development, several protests took place during September 2020 in villages, towns and some poorer remote areas in the country over COVID-19 and rising rates of poverty, amongst other issues. However, security forces used teargas, batons, birdshot and live ammunition to disperse the largely peaceful protests, with two people being killed and hundreds detained. In a further crackdown on expression, Egyptian authorities’ blocked at least 600 websites since May 2017 including media and political and human rights platforms. Read more
Monday 22.6.2020 Egypt - Latest Developments -
Since April 2017, Egypt has been under a state of emergency. The state of emergency has been constantly extended since then, with the latest extension on 8th May 2020 where the new amendments were ratified. These amendments were introduced as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak under health emergencies. However, human rights groups in Egypt have raised concerns, as they fear these amendments exploit COVID-19 in order to undermine judicial independence, expand the Military Prosecution’s jurisdiction to investigate civilians and give the President the power to authorise the Military Prosecution to investigate crimes that violate the Emergency Law (Article 4). In a separate development, the family of exiled civil society activist and Deputy Director of HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement, Mostafa Fouad, was continuously threatened. The arbitrary detention of journalists continued during the reporting period. In addition, a Guardian and New York Times reporter were censored by State Information Services for their reporting on the pandemic.
Thursday 19.3.2020 Egypt - Latest Developments -
The Egyptian Parliament’s House of Representatives approved amendments to the "Terror Lists” Bill. This is a concern because the bill expands the list of terrorists entities to include TV channels, print media, radio stations and social media. Several organisations have highlighted that government is using the tactic of recycling or the arbitrary revival of cases against human rights defenders, journalists, political opponents and others perceived as critical of the them. In addition journalists continue to face detention and prosecution.
Friday 1.11.2019 Egypt - Latest Developments -
As previously reported on the CIVICUS Monitor, civil society leaders in Egypt have experienced a wave of aggression. In particular, the Executive Director of Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), Gamal Eid continues to face a raft of measures designed to restrict his organisation's work. Read more
Friday 27.9.2019 Egypt - Latest Developments -
As previously covered by the CIVICUS Monitor, whereas the new NGO law is an additional concern for civic space in the country, the protests that have been taking place since 20th September 2019 raise further concerns regarding the human rights situation in Egypt, with arrests and use of excessive force documented against protesters. Read more