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    April 02, 2015

    Spurious charges have been brought against a women’s rights activist and 16 others after they testified as witnesses against the security forces, in a clear attempt by the Egyptian authorities to skew the scales of justice, said Amnesty International ahead of their trial hearing on 4 April.

    Azza Soliman, founder of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance, is one of 17 witnesses who came forward to give evidence about the killing of Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, an activist and poet who was shot dead on 24 January 2015 by security forces during the dispersal of a peaceful march in Cairo to commemorate those who died during the 2011 “25 January Revolution”. All those who came forward as witnesses are now facing charges of protesting without authorization and disturbing public order.

    “The fact that the authorities are resorting to blatant intimidation tactics to silence witnesses shows just how the criminal justice system in Egypt is being used as a tool of repression,” said Said Boumedouha, Acting Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    March 04, 2015

    A string of deaths in custody has thrown the spotlight on torture and horrific detention conditions at a police station in the Mattareya district of Cairo where at least three people died last week, said Amnesty International.

    Two of the deaths took place on the same day last week and according to the forensic authority in Cairo, one of the bodies bore marks consistent with torture or other ill-treatment. Since April 2014 at least nine detainees have died at Mattareya Police Station according to information gathered by Amnesty International, yet so far investigations have been half-hearted and no one has been held accountable.

    “The pattern of deaths in custody emerging at Mattareya Police Station is distressing. The authorities cannot continue to sweep rampant abuses under the carpet, and families are growing frustrated with the authorities’ unwillingness to hold perpetrators to account,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    February 12, 2015

    Amnesty International is reiterating its calls for the release of the Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy as their retrial began in Cairo today.

    “The notion that Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy now have to start this farcical process from scratch beggars belief,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahroui, Amnesty International’s Depuy Middle East and North Africa Director.
    "The message today's trial sends is that there is no justice for Egyptians."

    The men have been in prison for more than a year. Their earlier convictions were overturned after a deeply flawed trial.

    “It is crucial that Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy's continuing ordeal is not forgotten, particularly now that their Australian colleague Peter Greste is a free man. Like him, they are guilty of nothing more than carrying out their jobs as journalists. There is no reason that they should remain behind bars. The authorities should put an immediate end to their torment by dropping the charges and releasing them immediately and unconditionally,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui.

    February 02, 2015

    The deaths sentences handed down to 183 people in Egypt today following grossly unfair trials are a further sign of Egypt’s disregard for national and international law, says Amnesty International today.

    “Today’s death sentences are yet another example of the bias of the Egyptian criminal justice system. These verdicts and sentences must be quashed and all of those convicted should be given a trial that meets international standards of fairness and excludes the death penalty,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

    “The death penalty is a cruel and inhuman punishment in all circumstances. To impose death when there are serious doubts hanging over the fairness of the trial is outrageous and flouts international law.”

    The sentences come after a nation-wide media campaign calling for the execution of those involved in attacks on police and military, which gathered pace following last week’s attacks in Sinai.

    February 01, 2015

    The continuing plight of Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy must not be forgotten as their colleague Peter Greste is deported from Egypt.© KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images

    The continuing plight of Al Jazeera journalists Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy must not be forgotten as their colleague Peter Greste is deported from Egypt, said Amnesty International.

    The organization has been calling for the immediate and unconditional release of all three men since their arrest in December 2013.

    “The news that Peter Greste will finally be allowed to leave Egypt after more than a year in prison comes as a welcome relief, but nothing can make up for his ordeal. It is vital that in the celebratory fanfare surrounding his deportation the world does not forget the continuing ordeal of Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy who remain behind bars at Tora prison in Cairo,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa .

    January 31, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT 1 February 2015

    Evidence gathered by Amnesty International published today indicates that the Egyptian authorities are attempting to cover up the deaths of more than two dozen people who were killed in protests marking the 2011 uprising last weekend.  

    Prosecutors have threatened eyewitnesses with arrest and at least 500 demonstrators, including two disabled people and children, and bystanders are being held in unofficial detention centres across the country. Two journalists were also detained while covering the protests.

    “The authorities have not only used unnecessary or excessive force but they also appear to have orchestrated a ‘cover up’ of the disastrous events of last weekend to hide the brutal reality that Egyptian security forces have once again resorted to arbitrary and abusive force to crush protesters,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director.

    January 25, 2015

    Joint Press Release by Amnesty International Canada and the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy
    25 January 2015

    Several student unions in Canadian universities across Canada have adopted a statement of solidarity “with Egyptian students' right to freedom of expression and to peaceful assembly”, and to a “campus environment that is free from fear, intimidation and police abuse.”

    The statement, signed by Ryerson Students’ Union, University of Regina Students’ Union, University of Victoria Students’ Society, University of Toronto Graduate Students’ Union Executive Committee, Carleton University Graduate Students' Association, and Post Graduate Students’ Society of McGill University, called on the Canadian Government, civil society and human rights groups to exert all possible pressure on the Egyptian authorities to “drop all charges and immediately and unconditionally release all students arrested solely for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly.” The statement was co-drafted by Amnesty International Canada and the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD).

    January 25, 2015

    By Tarek Chatila, Montreal-area activist and writer for Amnesty Canada’s Isr/OT/PA co-group

    “The more things change, the more they stay the same,” wrote French critic Alphonse Karr in 1849. Turbulent change, he observed, has a counterproductive tendency to reinforce the status quo.

    A truism which precisely reflects the state of human rights in Egypt today.

    Four years after electrifying scenes beamed around the world from Tahrir Square - a vast ocean of people congregating and chanting defiantly for democratic reform - the aspirations of the Egyptian people and the ‘January 25 Revolution’ have yet to be realized.

    And while the Egyptian popular uprising succeeded in deposing long-serving President Hosni Mubarak, successive administrations have failed to adequately address the endemic human rights violations which continue to plague the country.

    The faces have changed, but the policies remain much the same.

    January 25, 2015

    By Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Program

    The streets are empty. The prisons are full. The fourth anniversary of Egypt’s “25 January Revolution” is passing largely in silence, with many of the young activists who led it now firmly behind bars.

    For many women in Egypt, this Sunday will bring back particularly bitter memories – of a brief moment when it seemed that a better future was finally within reach.

    Women stood alongside men throughout the 2011 uprising. However, in the years since they have faced a rising tide of violence and discrimination.

    And nowhere is safe.

    Shocking testimonies uncovered by Amnesty International show women enduring violence at the hands of their partners, the public and the police.

    Women are not safe at home. One woman told Amnesty International of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband:

    January 20, 2015

    More than 99 per cent of women in Egypt interviewed for a survey by UN Women in 2013 said that they had experienced some form of sexual harassment. © Melody Patry / Index on Censorship

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT 21 January 2015

    Women and girls in Egypt face violence on a disturbing scale both at home and in public, including sexual mob attacks as well as torture in state custody, according to a new briefing by Amnesty International.

    ‘Circles of hell’: Domestic, public and state violence against women in Egypt documents how despite some recent piecemeal reforms, shortfalls in Egyptian laws and entrenched impunity continue to foster a culture of routine sexual and gender-based violence in the country. 

    January 16, 2015

    The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
    Prime Minister of Canada
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1A 0A2

    Dear Prime Minister,

    We are writing this Open Letter to urge that you intervene in the case of Canadian citizen Mohamed Fahmy, who has been imprisoned for over one year in Egypt, with a direct request to the Egyptian government that he be released immediately and unconditionally and allowed to return to Canada.  We appreciate Minister Baird’s efforts to resolve the case during his visit to Cairo this week.  However, the fact that Mr. Fahmy remains imprisoned, with no clear commitment from Egyptian authorities to release him, points to the necessity of you now becoming involved.  We note that Mr. Fahmy himself made that request of you yesterday; and we very much agree with him that action from you personally is now urgently required.

    January 01, 2015

    An Egyptian court’s call for a retrial of three jailed Al Jazeera journalists acknowledges major flaws in the original convictions but leaves the men in unjust incarceration, Amnesty International said today.

    “By calling for a retrial the Egyptian courts are prolonging the injustice that Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed have faced,” said Hassiba Hadjsahraoui,Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

    “These men should never have been jailed in the first place and should not have to spend one more day in prison. Instead of prolonging their unjust detention pending a retrial, they must be freed immediately.”

    The Court of Cassation, Egypt’s highest court of law, ruled that there had been procedural failings in the trial of Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste and Baher Mohamed. The three are now set to face a retrial.

    The trio are serving sentences of between seven and 10 years for “falsifying news” and involvement with the Muslim Brotherhood movement, which the authorities allege is involved in terrorism-related activity.

    December 02, 2014

    Criminal justice system spiralling out of control

    In response to the court ruling for 188 people to be sentenced to death in Egypt today on charges of killing 11 police officers in the town of Kerdasa in August 2013 Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Hassiba Hadj Sahrouai said:

    “The death penalty ruling against 188 people to be sentenced to death in Egypt today is just another example of how the country’s criminal justice system is spiralling out of control.  These latest death sentences clearly expose a pattern of issuing death sentences en masse in cases involving police killings.”

    “It is quite telling that the sentencing, the third such conviction we have seen this year, was handed down in the same week that the case against former President Hosni Mubarak was dropped and and former Interior Minister Habib al-Adly and his aides were cleared of all charges over killing protesters during the 'January 25 revolution'. This is blatantly a case of justice being meted out based on a political whim."

    November 27, 2014

    The Egyptian authorities must halt the arbitrary demolition of hundreds of homes and mass forced evictions underway in Rafah, North Sinai in order to create a buffer zone along the border with the Gaza Strip, Amnesty International said amid signs that the operation may be expanded.

    “The scale of the forced evictions has been astonishing; the Egyptian authorities have thrown more than 1,000 families out of their homes in just a matter of days, flouting international and national law. Shocking scenes have emerged of homes in Rafah being bulldozed, bombed, with entire buildings reduced to piles of rubble and families forcibly evicted,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

    At least 800 homes have been destroyed with an estimated 1,165 families forcibly evicted from their homes since the Egyptian military began clearing the area days after a deadly attack on a military checkpoint in North Sinai that killed at least 33 soldiers on 24 October 2014, according to official statements.  

    November 25, 2014

    Widespread student protests against the repressive practices of the current government have rocked Egypt since the academic year began on October 11th. The subsequent crackdown by the authorites has been marked by arbitrary and excessive use of force resulting in hundreds of arrests and injuries.

    Amnesty International Canada and the Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy have co-authored the following statement of solidarity:

    We, the undersigned student associations and clubs, are following closely the situation in Egypt and the violation of the basic human rights of Egyptian students in universities all over Egypt since the start of the school year there in October.


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