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    October 17, 2018

    Aser Mohamed in 2015 © Private

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    A student named Aser Mohamed needs your help. 

    Terrible things have happened to him since January 12, 2016. That was the day armed police and security officers broke into his Cairo home. They took Aser away without following the law since they had no warrant to break into the house. (A warrant is a document needed to search a place or arrest someone.) 

    Aser was just 14.

    For 34 days, Aser’s family did not know where he was. When he was finally brought to court, it was without the help of his lawyer.

    All this is terrible enough, but then the government claimed he had done some violent things, like attacking a hotel in early January. When Aser told them he had not done that, they hurt him so badly that, to make them stop, he finally said he did. That confession could now be used to keep Aser in jail for 15 years!

    October 16, 2018

    “It was non-stop tear gas and shots were coming from rooftops and armoured vehicles... Shots were raining down on us...I saw people shot in the head and chest.” - Protester who witnessed the Rabaa massacre on 14 August 2013. 

    Amnesty analysis shows Egyptian security forces used French supplied military equipment to violently crush protests between 2012 and 2015 Despite EU ban and zero accountability measures by the Egyptian government, France continues to transfer arms to Egypt Footage analysed by Amnesty shows Egyptian security forces firing on protesters from within French supplied armoured vehicles

    An Amnesty International investigation published today reveals that armoured personnel carriers supplied by France were used with deadly effect by the Egyptian security forces to violently and repeatedly disperse protests and crush dissent.

    October 11, 2018

    Responding to the news that 17 people accused of carrying out three deadly church bombings in 2017, as well as attacks against security forces, have been sentenced to death by a military court in Alexandria today, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said:

    “There can be no justification for the utterly reprehensible attacks which targeted worshippers in Coptic Christian churches across Egypt in 2017. There is no doubt that the perpetrators of these horrific attacks should be held accountable for their crimes. But handing out a mass death sentence after an unfair military trial is not justice and will not deter further sectarian attacks.

    “Egypt has a shocking track record of unlawfully trying civilians in its notorious military courts and sentencing scores to death after grossly unfair mass trials, often based on ‘confessions’ extracted through torture. Those accused of involvement in these heinous crimes must be retried in a civilian court in proceedings that comply with international human rights law and fair trial standards.”

    Background

    October 03, 2018

    Amal Fathy via Facebook

    DOWNLOAD THE LATEST UPDATE ON UA 98/18 HERE

    On 29 September, the Maadi Misdemeanor court sentenced Amal Fathy to two years in prison and a fine of 10,000 EGP (560 USD). The bail to temporarily suspend her sentence was set at 20,000 EGP (1,120 USD). The first appeal hearing is set for 25 November. 

    On 29 September, Egyptian woman human rights defender, Amal Fathy, was sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of 10,000 EGP (560 USD). The bail to temporarily suspend her sentence was set at 20,000 EGP (1,120 USD). The court convicted Amal on three accounts and sentenced her to one year for each of the charges of "spreading false news with intent to harm the Egyptian state" and possessing “indecent material”, and given a fine of 10,000 Egyptian pounds (560 USD) for making “public insults”- all of this for posting a Facebook video in which she decries sexual harassment and criticizes the Egyptian authorities for failing to protect women.

    September 29, 2018

    Following the sentencing today of an Egyptian woman human rights defender, Amal Fathy, who has already spent 141 days in prison after being arbitrarily arrested for posting a Facebook video decrying sexual harassment and criticizing the Egyptian authorities for failing to protect women, to a two years suspended prison sentence with a bail of 20,000 EGP (1,120 USD) and a fine of 10,000 EGP (560 USD),  Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director, said:

    “Amal Fathy is now facing a disgraceful sentence simply for her courage to speak out against sexual harassment. This is an outrageous case of injustice, where the survivor is sentenced while the abuser remains at large. She is a human rights defender and sexual harassment survivor, who told her truth to the world and highlighted the vital issue of women’s safety in Egypt. She is not a criminal and should not be punished for her bravery.

    September 20, 2018

    The crackdown on freedom of expression under Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi has reached alarming new levels unparalleled in Egypt’s recent history, Amnesty International said today as it launched a campaign calling for the unconditional and immediate release of all those who have been detained solely for peacefully expressing their views.

    The campaign, “Egypt, an Open-Air Prison for Critics”, is being launched in response to the unprecedented severity of the crackdown in Egypt, as people around the country increasingly express discontent with the economic and political situation. Amnesty International invites supporters from around the world to show solidarity with those risking their freedom to express their views by writing to the Egyptian government and calling for an end to the persecution.

    “It is currently more dangerous to criticize the government in Egypt than at any time in the country’s recent history. Egyptians living under President al-Sisi are treated as criminals simply for peacefully expressing their opinions,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director.

    September 08, 2018

    Cairo Criminal Court today handed down 75 death sentences, 47 life sentences, and heavy prison sentences ranging from 15 to 5 years to 612 people, in a mass trial related to participation in the al-Rabaa sit-in on 14 August 2013. Among those sentenced was photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid, known as “Shawkan”, who was sentenced to five years, which he has already served. Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International, said

    “These sentences were handed down in a disgraceful mass trial of more than 700 people, and we condemn today’s verdict in the strongest terms. The death penalty should never be an option under any circumstances. The fact that not a single police officer has been brought to account for the killing of at least 900 people in the Rabaa and Nahda protests shows what a mockery of justice this trial was. The Egyptian authorities should be ashamed. We demand a retrial in an impartial court and in full respect of the right to a fair trial for all defendants, without recourse to the death penalty.

    August 09, 2018

    Today’s referral to trial of Amal Fathy, an Egyptian activist arrested for posting a video online sharing her experiences of sexual harassment, is a shocking case of injustice, Amnesty International said.

    “Amal Fathy was brave in speaking up about her experience of sexual harassment in Egypt and should be applauded for her courage – not put on trial,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director.

    “Instead of prosecuting perpetrators of violence against women, the Egyptian authorities are persecuting Amal Fathy for speaking out against sexual harassment. It is a shocking case of injustice. She is a human rights defender who told her truth to the world and wanted to highlight the vital issue of women’s safety in Egypt. She is not a criminal.

    May 28, 2018

    The continued appalling treatment of Gehad el-Haddad in the notorious al-Aqrab prison is cruel, inhuman and unacceptable, said Amnesty International today, in response to fresh information that prison authorities have confiscated his wheelchair and other belongings and moved him back to solitary confinement after spending a month in Liman Tora prison awaiting medical treatment which he did not receive.

    “Amnesty International is deeply concerned about Gehad el-Haddad’s deteriorating health and the abusive conditions in which he is being held. The inhumane conditions Gehad has been subjected to since his detention in 2013, including prolonged solitary confinement, have resulted in much of his ongoing suffering, pain and the need for a wheelchair. When he arrived in prison he was a healthy man in his early 30’s. Now he can’t move to perform ablutions or use the bathroom without help,” Said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty international.

    May 07, 2018

    The Egyptian authorities have responded to Amnesty International’s report, Crushing Humanity: the abuse of solitary confinement in Egypt’s prisons, denying the widespread use of prolonged solitary confinement. Their response confirms that judicial oversight and human rights monitoring of Egyptian prisons are inadequate and ineffective.

    Amnesty International wrote to the Egyptian authorities on 16 and 17 April 2018, enclosing a memorandum containing a summary of the report’s findings on the use of solitary confinement against prisoners detained on politically motivated charges and requesting comments and clarifications. The 14-page response from the Egyptian authorities was received on 3 May 2018.

    April 24, 2018

    Responding to the sentencing of Hisham Genina, former head of the Central Auditing Organisation in Egypt, to five years in prison on charges of “publishing false information for harming national security”, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director, Najia Bounaim said:

    “The arrest, military trial and outrageous five-year sentence for Hisham Genina is another example of the shameless silencing of anyone who is critical of the Egyptian authorities. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Hisham Genina. His continued imprisonment for his criticism of the recent election process is a reprehensible violation of his right to freedom of expression.

    “It is now becoming clear that the Egyptian authorities’ recent crackdown on freedom of expression shows no sign of abating. The persecution of those who dare to speak up in Egypt is quickly becoming a hallmark of al-Sisi’s new term in office.”

    Background

    March 02, 2018

    Responding to the overnight suspected enforced disappearance of human rights lawyer and director of the NGO Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, Ezzat Ghonim, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director, Najia Bounaim, said:

    “Given the highly charged political climate in Egypt and the clampdown on dissent in the lead up to the presidential elections, we are deeply concerned that Ezzat Ghonim may have been forcibly disappeared.

    “The Egyptian authorities have a notorious reputation for the use of enforced disappearances to silence human rights defenders and members of the opposition. This appears to be yet another shameless attack on the right to freedom of expression and association. It is a reminder of the incredible obstacles faced by those who are striving to defend the basic rights of the Egyptian people.

    “Instead of abducting those who stand up for the rights of others, the Egyptian authorities must protect these activists and facilitate their work. They must disclose any information they have about the whereabouts of Ezzat Ghonim and release him immediately if he is in state custody.”

    Background

    March 01, 2018

    Analysis of a Video released by the Egyptian Armed Forces proves beyond doubt that banned cluster munitions have been used in recent airstrikes in North Sinai, Amnesty International said today.

    On 21 February, the Egyptian military released a video on its official twitter account of what it claimed were improvised explosive devices planted by “terrorist elements”. However, Amnesty International has analysed this video and confirmed it shows an unexploded US made Mk 118 cluster munition, which could only have been dropped by the Egyptian air force.

    “Cluster bombs are among the vilest weapons in modern warfare, inherently indiscriminate and capable of killing and maiming civilians for years after their deployment. This new video confirms our worst fears, that the Egyptian Armed Forces are using cluster bombs in North Sinai. This shows a horrifying disregard for human life and international law,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    February 09, 2018

    Responding to last night’s raid by security forces at the house of Mohamed al-Kassas, the deputy head of Egyptian opposition party Misr al-Qawia, and the lack of information about his whereabouts, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director, Najia Bounaim, said:

    “Given the track record of the Egyptian authorities and their continued use of enforced disappearances to stifle dissent, we are deeply concerned that Mohamed al-Kassas might have been forcibly disappeared and subjected to torture. The authorities must disclose any information they have about the whereabouts of Mohamed al-Kassas and release him immediately if he is in state custody.”

    “This enforced disappearance of a senior member from a prominent opposition party is a brazen attack on the rights to freedom of expression and association in Egypt. Enforced disappearance has become a routine practice by the al-Sisi administration to silence activists and opposition groups.”

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