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Update info:
16 Jun 2016 (Updated)
Latest info:
5 May 2016
Malek Adly
Gender m/f: m
15 Jul 2016
Distribution date:
16 Jun 2016
UA No:

A Cairo court renewed on 1 June the detention of prisoner of conscience Malek Adly for 15 days. The human rights lawyer is in poor health, has been ill-treated and is held in solitary confinement. He is one of hundreds arrested in the wake of protests in Cairo on 25 April.

According to a 19 May letter sent by his wife to the National Council for Human Rights, Malek Adly told the Shubra al-Khaimah prosecution at his last court session on 18 May about the poor conditions of his detention since his arrest. Amnesty International also confirmed these details with his lawyer. Malek Adly said he was transferred to the prison hospital four times because of his high blood pressure, and was refused the medicine he is used to taking “causing his health to deteriorate”. He said that he is constantly vomiting and finding it hard to breathe. Around 17 officers entered Malek Adly’s cell while he was ill and forced him to take unknown medication and an injection. He is being forced to sleep on the floor, has been given inadequate food and water to consume, and was wearing the same clothes for 13 days after his arrest. He was only allowed a family visit on 19 May despite Egyptian law allowing visits at the end of the first 11 days of detention. He is held in Cairo’s Tora Prison.

The Shubra al-Khaimah Court also refused to allow defence lawyers to complete their pleadings, and asked that Malek Adly be removed from the courtroom before finishing the examination. His lawyers withdrew from the hearing in protest. Malek Adly was one of a number of lawyers who filed a lawsuit against an agreement over the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Lawyers have argued the transfer is unconstitutional.



An arrest warrant was issued against Malek Adly ahead of major planned protests on 25 April, a public holiday in Egypt, against the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Malek Adly is director of the legal unit at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, one of the country’s leading independent rights groups. He was arrested on the evening of 5 May, while walking in the Cairo suburb of Maadi. His defence team said that security forces took him to Maadi police station for questioning, where they beat and struck him with firearms, blindfolded and stripped him of his shirt. Malek Adly was then transferred to the Shubra al-Khaimah Public Prosecution, where a prosecutor questioned him for over four hours. The Prosecution initially ordered his detention for 15 days. He is being investigated for trumped-up charges that include “joining a group to obstruct the law”, “spreading false rumours”, “attempting to overthrow the government”, “using violence and force against National Security Agency officers”, as well as “inciting protests” and “inciting a mob”, according to one of his lawyers.

Malek Adly’s lawyers have formally complained to the authorities over his ill-treatment in detention. They have expressed their fears that the Prosecution may fabricate a narcotics charge against Malek Adly, because the Prosecution ordered he be tested for drugs and alcohol – despite the fact that they had considered him fit for questioning immediately after his arrest, and they did not question or charge him for drugs or alcohol possession.

On 14 May, two Egyptian courts convicted 152 protesters for breaking the repressive 2013 Protest Law sentencing them to between two and five years in prison. The 2013 Protest Law, signed into law by former President Adly Mansour, gives security forces sweeping powers to disperse demonstrations not approved by the authorities. The case against them was rooted in the 25 April demonstrations. Hundreds have been arrested in connection with protests against the transfer of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Other human rights defenders have also faced arrest, detention and prosecution in relation to these protests. Prominent youth activist Sanaa Seif handed herself in on 14 May and is now being held in Qanater Women’s Prison. She was summoned for questioning by a prosecutor in relation to her friend’s arrest ahead of the 25 April protest. She was issued with a 6-month prison sentence in absentia on the charge of “insulting the judiciary” after refusing to be questioned arguing the whole process is a sham. She decided not to appeal. Labor lawyer Haytham Mohammedein, human rights defender Ahmed Abdullah, and minority rights defender Mina Thabet have all been arrested in connection with the 25 April protests.

Egypt is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association. The prosecution of peaceful protesters, who are expressing their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is also a breach of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, which Egypt has ratified.

Further information on UA: 98/16 Index: MDE 12/4182/2016 Issue Date: 3 June 2016

Take action

Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

  • Calling on the Egyptian authorities to release Malek Adly immediately and unconditionally, as he is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for his human rights work, and to drop all charges against him; 
  • Urging the Egyptian authorities to ensure Malek Adly has access to the medical care he requires and that his allegations of ill-treatment are promptly and independently investigated;
  • Urging them to ensure that others who have been arrested in connection with the 25 April protests are released unless they are promptly charged with recognizable criminal offences that do not criminalize the exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and assembly and tried in full conformity with international fair trial standards without recourse to the death penalty;
  • Calling on them to repeal the Protest Law, the Counter-terrorism Law and other laws that arbitrarily restrict the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and expression; otherwise amend them in line with international standards.

Public Prosecutor
Nabil Sadek
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab
New Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Salutation: Dear Counsellor

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 El Din
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche al-Nil, Cairo
Arab Republic of 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 second update of UA 98/16. Further information: https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/MDE12/4022/2016/en/