10/15/2019

Urgent Action: Prominent Activist and His Lawyer Detained (Egypt: UA 132.19)


On 29 September 2019, National Security officers arrested prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah from his probation cell in Dokki police station in Cairo. Later that day, human rights lawyer Mohamed el-Baqer was arrested at the State Security Prosecution while attending the investigation session of Alaa Abdel Fattah. On 1 October 2019, Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mohamed el-Baqer appeared in Tora Maximum Security prison 2 for the first time after their arrest.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Public Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2577 4716
Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 895 5400 I Fax: 202 244 5131
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @EgyptEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Counselor,

On 29 September 2019, Alaa Abdel Fattah did not leave the Dokki police station in Cairo, where he spends 12 hours of probation daily. The police told his mother that he was taken by the National Security Agency (NSA) officers to the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP). Later that day, Mohamed el-Baqer, one of Alaa Abdel Fattah’s lawyers, entered the SSSP building to represent him. He was informed of an arrest warrant against him and was then detained and questioned in the same case. Both men were assigned to Case 1356/2019 and held on four unfounded charges of “joining an illegal organization”, “receiving foreign funding”, “spreading false news”, and “misusing social media”. On 9 October 2019, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed their detention for 15 days. Mohamed el-Baqer’s family visited him for 5 minutes while Alaa’s family members were not allowed to visit him.

Amnesty International considers that the arrest and the investigation of Mohamed el-Baqer stems from his work as a human rights lawyer and that of Alaa Abdel Fattah stems from his activism and criticism of the government. Their detention is a violation of their right to freedom of expression.

I therefore ask you to release Mohamed el-Baqer and Alaa Abdel Fattah immediately and drop the charges on which they are being investigated. I call on you to also ensure that, pending their release, they are granted access to their lawyers and family, and that they are protected from torture, other ill-treatment and inhumane conditions of detention by opening an investigation into the torture of Alaa Abdel Fattah and bringing all those responsible to justice. I finally urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately release all those detained solely for peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Yours sincerely,

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