Egypt: release Tarek Hussein and other unjustly imprisoned human rights defenders
On 10 July, 2017, ESCR-Net sent a letter on behalf of its collective membership calling on the Government of Egypt to immediately release Mr. Tarek Hussein of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, as well as other human rights defenders in Egypt.
According to reports received, Mr. Hussein was detained at Ain El-Shams Police Station since June 20, 2017, and disappeared on 4 July after his legal council presented evidence to attest to his innocence. Reportedly, the authorities of both prison facilities originally denied that he was present on their premises. Mr. Hussein was subsequently located, on 9 July, at the 10.5Km prison, where the administration denied his family or lawyer the opportunity to visit him. ESCR-Net also raised concern about the arbitrary detention of Mohamed Ramaden and recent measures to prosecute Asmaa Naeem, both human rights defenders who have been charged in absentia by Egyptian courts.
In the letter, ESCR-Net raised concern that the recently adopted Law No. 70, “The Law of Associations and Other Foundations Working in the Field of Civil Work,” will further restrict the already constrained space for legitimate work of to defend human rights in Egypt.
Recalling Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law, ESCR-Net called on the Government of Egypt to:
- Release Mr. Tarek Hussein, as well as Mohamed Ramaden and with all other human rights defenders arbitrarily detained in Egypt;
- Drop the charges against Asmaa Naeem, Mohamed Ramaden and the six other lawyers mentioned in the letter
- Repeal Law 70 of 2017, in line with the call of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and all other legislation and executive decrees which serve to restrict the space for human rights advocacy and defence in Egypt, and
- Ensure protection for all individuals and organizations in Egypt that work to promote, advance and defend human rights.