Egypt Human Rights

The authorities continued to severely restrict human rights organizations’ and political parties’ freedom of association. Constitutional amendments expanded the role of military courts in prosecuting civilians and undermined the independence of the judiciary. Following protests in September 2019, the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) ordered the detention of thousands pending investigation in relation to vaguely worded “terrorism”-related charges were investigated.

Extensive use of exceptional courts led to grossly unfair trials and, in some cases, death sentences. Executions continued. Torture remained rife in formal and informal places of detention. Conditions of detention remained dire, prompting mass hunger strikes. Women continued to face discrimination in law and practice. The authorities failed to protect women against high levels of sexual and gender-based violence. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people in detention were forcibly subjected to invasive anal and sex determination tests.

Dozens of workers and trade unionists were arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted for exercising their right to strike and protest. The authorities restricted Christians’ right to worship by closing at least 25 churches and failing to provide approval for thousands of others to be built or repaired.


Ramy Shaath with wife Celine Lebrun

On July 2019, in the middle of the night, heavily armed, masked men entered the apartment of Egyptian-Palestinian human rights defender Ramy Shaath. Without a warrant and offering no explanation, they took Ramy away to detention and ordered his wife Celine Lebrun to leave the country. has been subjected to harassment by the Egyptian authorities for several years due to his activities as a human rights defender. He has been held in pre-trial detention since July 2019, in inhuman conditions.

Help us get 30,000 names on a petition calling for Ramy Shaath’s release prior to the second anniversary of his arrest this July.

urgent action: Anthropology student must be released

Following his arrest on 1 February, researcher and master’s student Ahmed Samir Santawy was subjected to enforced disappearance for five days. During this time, security forces beat him and kept him blindfolded, while interrogating him about his social media engagement and academic research. Take Action.

urgent action: Detained Journalist Reports Physical Abuse in Prison

On 19 January 2021, arbitrarily detained journalist Solafa Magdy told a judge that she has been subjected to physical violence and other abuse inside prison on several occasions. When her family saw her last on 27 January 2021, she appeared frail and unable to walk unassisted, raising further concerns about her health and wellbeing. Take Action

Shocking Reprisal Against Leading Human Rights Group

The Egyptian authorities arrested and detained three leaders of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, one of the last independent human rights organizations in the country. The arrests came shortly after the group met visiting diplomats from the European Union to discuss human rights. Amnesty believes the arrests reflect a continuing determination by the government to muzzle civil society and to send a challenge to any in the international community that would criticize the country’s human rights record. The three men were released on Dec. 3, 2020, but they continue to face unfounded terrorism charges. Human rights workers continue to be subjected to travel bans, asset freezes, and criminal investigations  Read More

The latest wave of arrests targeting critics, opposition leaders, activists and journalists under the guise of counterterrorism is part of the Egyptian authorities’ systematic persecution and brutal crackdown on anyone who dares to criticize them. The crackdown leaves no doubt about the authorities’ vision for political life in Egypt; an open-air prison with no opposition, critics or independent reporting allowed.

Egypt Newsroom

February 11, 2021 • Press Release

Launch of Mustafa Kassem Fellowship in Memory of U.S. Citizen Who Died in Egyptian Prison

Amnesty International USA is launching the Mustafa Kassem Fellowship named after the detained U.S. citizen who died in an Egyptian prison one year ago. Today would have been his 56th birthday.

April 20, 2020 • Report

Death penalty 2019: Global executions fell by 5%, hitting a 10-year low

Saudi Arabia executed a record number of people in 2019, despite an overall decline in executions worldwide, Amnesty International said in its 2019 global review of the death penalty published …

April 7, 2020 • Press Release

Workshop for media featuring Nazanin Boniadi and the Middle East Institute will examine COVID-19 impact on the Middle East and North Africa

As part of a series of workshops exploring human rights concerns related to the COVID-19 response, Amnesty International USA will be holding a workshop titled “The impact of COVID-19 on …

November 17, 2019 • Press Release

Write For Rights: Amnesty International Launches Global Campaign Championing Youth Activists

Amnesty International has today launched Write for Rights, the world’s biggest human rights campaign, which this year champions children’s rights and youth activists.

September 24, 2019 • Press Release

World Leaders Must Act To Stop Egyptian President al-Sisi’s Repressive Crackdown

Ahead of further protests expected on Friday, world leaders must confront President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and utterly condemn the crackdown he has waged to counter the outbreak of protests in recent days, said Amnesty International as heads of state meet at the UN General Assembly in New York this week.

July 31, 2019 • Press Release

Mass Hunger Strike at al-Aqrab Prison Over Denial of Family Visits and Dire Conditions

The Egyptian authorities must immediately end cruel and inhumane detention conditions and allow regular family visits at al-Aqrab maximum security prison in Tora where approximately 130 detainees have gone on a mass hunger strike for more than six weeks, said Amnesty International today. Many of those on strike were arrested more than two years ago and have not been allowed a single visit from their families or lawyers.

July 2, 2019 • Press Release

Egypt: Series of draconian laws ‘legalizes’ unprecedented repression six years since fall of Morsi

The Egyptian authorities are attempting to normalize human rights violations by passing a series of laws to “legalize” their escalating crackdown on freedom of expression, association and assembly, said Amnesty International, six years since recently deceased former President Mohamed Morsi was ousted from power on 3 July 2013.

June 17, 2019 • Press Release

Authorities in Egypt must order immediate investigation into death of former President Mohamed Morsi

Responding to the news of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s death in custody today Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said: “The news of Mohamed …

February 26, 2019 • Report

Human rights in the Middle East and North Africa: A review of 2018

The international community’s chilling complacency towards wide-scale human rights violations in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has emboldened governments to commit appalling violations during 2018 by giving them …

November 28, 2018 • Press Release

Amnesty International launches world’s biggest human rights campaign

Women human rights defenders around the world are facing unprecedented levels of abuse, intimidation and violence, said Amnesty International as it launched its global Write for Rights campaign, in a …