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ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT:
ACTIVISTS SENTENCED FOR PEACEFULLY PROTESTING

Update info:
20 Jan 2018
Country:
ARAB REPUBLIC OF EGYPT
Subject:
Mahienour El-Masry (f), Moataseem Medhat (m), Asmaa Naem (f), Waleed El-Amry (m), and Ziad Abu El-Fadl (m)
Gender m/f: both
Period:
22 Feb 2018
Distribution date:
20 Jan 2018
UA No:
255/2017

Human rights activist and prisoner of conscience Mahienour el-Masry sentenced along with labour activist Moatasem Medhat to two years in prison for “participating in an unauthorized protest”. Three other activists, Asmaa Naem, Waleed el-Amry, and Ziad Abu el-Fadl, convicted in absentia to three years in prison in the same case.

On 30 December, Montazah Misdemeanour Court in the city of Alexandria, Egypt’s second largest city, sentenced human rights defender and prisoner of conscience Mahienour el-Masry as well as labour activist Moatasem Medhat to two years in prison for their peaceful participation in a protest on charges of “participating in an unauthorized protest” and “show of force”. The defendants’ lawyer filed an appeal and the hearing is scheduled for 13 January. Security forces moved Mahienour el-Masry to Damanhour women’s prison, and detained Moatasem Medhat in Borg el-Arab prison, near the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

In the same case, the court also sentenced three other activists, Asmaa Naem, Waleed el-Amry, and Ziad Abu el-Fadl, in absentia to three years in prison on charges of “participating in an unauthorized protest” and “show of force”. Under Egyptian law, defendants who are sentenced in absentia are entitled to a re-trial.

The sentences are related to a peaceful protest on 14 June 2017 in Alexandria against the ratification of an agreement by which Egypt ceded sovereignty over two islands in the red sea, Tiran and Sanafir, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Security forces arrested at least 240 political activists and protesters between April and September 2017 on charges ranging from online speech which they considered “insulting” to the President, to participating in unauthorised protests. They were mostly sentenced under protest laws 107/2013 and 10/1914.

Take action

Please write immediately in Arabic, English, or your own language urging the authorities to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release Mahienour El-Masry and Moatassem Medhat, as they are imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly;
  • Ensure that the sentences against Mahienour El-Masry, Moataseem Medhat, and the three other defendants are quashed;
  • Amend protests laws 107/2013 and 10/1914 in order to ensure that they respect the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 22 FEBRUARY 2018 TO:
Public Prosecutor
Nabil Sadek
Office of the Public Prosecutor, Dar al-Qada al-Ali, Down Town
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +20225774716
Salutation: Dear Counsellor

President
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2391 1441
Email: p.spokesman@op.gov.eg
Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial
Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:
Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights
Laila Bahaa Eldin
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche el-Nile, Cairo, Egypt.
Fax: +202 2574 9713
Email: contact.us@mfa.gov.eg
Twitter: @MfaEgypt

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country.

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 255/17. Further information: www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde12/1867/2015/en/