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Mass arrests in Egypt: Expressing opinion is an inevitable path to the State Security Prosecution

On the second day of Eid al-Adha, the Egyptian authorities launched a new wave of mass arrests targeting Egyptian activists and public figures in a renewed attempt to intimidate the Egyptians and suppress any opposition or free voice. After the regime succeeded in getting rid of the political Islam current, the regime turned to all the other opposition currents with its various categories and to civil society activists as well as writers, thinkers, artists and journalists in a way it intensified the campaigns of arrest, torture, displacement and elimination.

During the recent arrest campaign, the Egyptian authorities carried out the worst forms of torture and humiliation.  In a dangerous precedent, the security forces attempted to arrest Dr. Sameh Saoudi, a member of “Attayar Achaabi” Party, and instead they arrested his wife and two children (aged five and two years old) and detained them. They contacted Dr. Sameh from his wife’s mobile phone to locate him and force him to surrender himself, and that was actually done a few hours later and his wife and children were released after that.

Without any legal basis or respect for proceedings, the security forces also raided the home of Ambassador Maasoum Marzouk, a war hero, a diplomat and a politician. The authorities did not hesitate to arrest him on the backdrop of launching a new initiative to get Egypt out of its political crisis. The initiative proposes a popular referendum on the survival of the regime.

The systematic arrests also included Dr. Yahia El-kozaz, Professor of Geology at Helwan University and one of the founders of the March 9 Movement for the Independence of Universities. It should be noted that Dr. Yahya was arrested while he was in his aunt’s funeral.

On the same day, Dr. Raed Salama, an economist, one of the founders of the Kifaya Movement, and a member of the Supreme Council of the Karama Party, was arrested.
Nermin Hussein, Amr Mohammed and Abdel Fattah Saeed, three Egyptian activists, were also arbitrarily detained.

The recent arrests were implemented under the cover of combating terrorism as the detainees were accused of “participating with a terrorist group in achieving its objectives, receiving funding for terrorist purposes, and participation in a criminal agreement intended to commit a terrorist crime “in case No. 1305 of 2018 so that those involved would join a long line of Egyptian dissidents, young people or political symbols, who are being held on faked cases to be handled by the State Security Prosecution.

In light of this cowardly campaign and given its circumstances, backgrounds and methods that are not only illegal but rather brutal and inhuman, the undersigned organizations condemn the escalation of repression of public freedoms in Egypt and consider the latest attack as a new episode of the tyranny of the political system aimed at eliminating opponents and intimidating activists in various fields and citizens which opens the door to extremist groups to attract more elements that could not find any breather in democratic ways.

Accordingly:

First: The signatories call on  the Attorney General and all the elements of the Egyptian judicial branch to refrain from participating in this political elimination process and not to allow the executive  branch to use them to strike their opponents.

Second: The signatories call on the leaders of Egyptian political system to respect the freedoms of opinion and expression, guaranteed by international human rights treaties and ratified by Egypt, and to review the methods used when dealing with political and legal activists by releasing the detainees and abandoning the unfair charges against them.

Third: The signatories praise the positions of the Egyptian human rights centers that are still battling to improve conditions in Egypt despite the ongoing repressive security approaches that are used when dealing with them as they have been repeatedly threatened with imprisonment and assaults.

Fourth: The signatories value the efforts of all individuals who continue to attempt to stand against the system of “one vision and one opinion” because they are convinced that there is no way for democracy without presenting many views and opinions and there is no way to change without fighting the various battles even if it carries the risk of prosecution, detention and defamation that are used by the current system.

Fifth: The signatories call on all international human rights organizations to act quickly to support Egyptian activists and to stand by them against the inhuman attacks launched by the Egyptian regime.

Signatory Organizations:

Tunisian League for Human Rights
Tunisian Association of The Democratic Women
Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights
Tunisian Association for the Defense of Individual Liberties
Tunisian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
Tunisian Federation For A two Banks Citizenship
DAMJ for justice and equality
Shams Association
Tunisian Organization for the Defense of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
International Association for the Support of Political Prisoners
Vigilance Association  for Democracy and Civil State
Democratic Transition and Human Rights Support Center “DAAM”

 

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