Human rights groups call on Egyptian authorities to release nearly 2,000 protesters

This statement was originally published on cihrs.org on 26 September 2019.

The brutal crackdown by Egyptian state security, which in the last few days was marked by the arrests of nearly 2000 people – including peaceful demonstrators, political leaders, rights activists, journalists, and lawyers – constitutes a flagrant violation of the right to free expression and peaceful protest, and a weapon of intimidation against political and human rights advocacy and any attendant media and legal support. The outbreak of protests on Friday evening September 20th is a manifestation of swelling popular anger against the Sisi government’s brutal authoritarian practices, including its monopolization of the media and its suppression – through state violence, prosecution, and intimidation – of all platforms for peaceful expression and independent political activity. The protests also are a reaction to the president’s accumulated policies since his assumption of office, which have achieved neither political nor economic stability, but have only served to tighten the government’s authoritarian stranglehold.

Concurrently with the unprecedented state repression they face, Egyptians suffer from direly deteriorating economic conditions and record-breaking poverty rates ensuing from the government’s austerity measures: measures passed at the same time the president and his administration are being exposed by serious allegations of corruption that are not being investigated.

With Egypt on the threshold of further bloodshed and chaos, the undersigned organizations make the following demands, in order to move away from this threshold while moving toward the democratic aspirations of the January 25 2011 revolution.

  1. Immediately release all political party activists and first- and second-tier party leaders – including the presidents of the Strong Egypt, Dustour, and Istiqlal parties and secretaries, representatives, and presidents of the Popular Alliance, Karama, Social Democratic,Istiqlal, and Strong Egypt parties – and end the relentless campaigns of intimidation and prosecution against political parties that began in full force when the current president assumed power.
  2. Immediately release all those arrested for their participation in the last presidential elections, including military and civilian leaders opposed to the current presidential administration, starting with former presidential candidates General Sami Anan and Colonel Ahmed Qunsuwa, as well as Judge Hisham Genena, the Human Rights Affairs Deputy in Anan’s campaign, and Dr. Hazem Hosni, the spokesman in Anan’s campaign, and lift the house arrest of General  Ahmed Shafiq.
  3. Guarantee the constitutional right to express one’s opinion through various platforms, including online platforms, without intimidation or reprisal;  guarantee the constitutional right to demonstrate; and suspend the enforcement of the long-repealed, colonial era Assembly Law.
  4. Lift the block on 103 news websites, end the partial or attempted block of social media, and stop surveillance of citizens’ personal online accounts and reprisals against individuals for peacefully expressing opinions.
  5. Invite UN special rapporteurs working in human rights areas – torture, enforced disappearance, extrajudicial execution, freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of association and peaceful assembly, and protection of human rights defenders – to visit Egypt to assess the state of human rights and submit their reports and recommendations to the pertinent UN bodies and the Egyptian government for necessary action.

Signatory Organizations

1. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
2. The Egyptian Front for Human Rights
3. Arabic Network for Human Rights Information
4. Freedom Initiative
5. Nadeem Center
6. Belady Center for Rights and Freedoms
7. Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms
8. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
9. Committee for Justice (CFJ)

The post Human rights groups call on Egyptian authorities to release nearly 2,000 protesters appeared first on IFEX.

Source: MEDIA FEED

HRNJ-UG Admin

Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) is a network of human rights journalists in Uganda working towards enhancing the promotion, protection and respect of human rights through defending and building the capacities of journalists, to effectively exercise their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms for collective campaigning through the media.

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