- 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.
Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 55.22. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
President Abdelfattah al-Sisi
Office of the President, Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt Fax: +202 2391 1441
Email: [email protected];
Ambassador Motaz Zahran
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] , [email protected]
Twitter: @EgyptEmbassyUSA , @MotazZahran
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
I am concerned about the arbitrary detention of Aisha el-Shater, the 42-year-old daughter of Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat el-Shater, and her husband lawyer Mohamed Abo Horeira, solely in relation to their human rights work and peaceful dissent. On 5 March, an Emergency State Security Court (ESSC) sentenced Aisha el-Shater and Mohamed Abo Horeira to ten and 15 years in prison, respectively, following a grossly unfair trial referred to as the ” Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) case” by Egyptian media. They were convicted of multiple charges, including supporting a terrorist group (the Muslim Brotherhood) and spreading “false news” about human rights abuses by security forces through the ECRF’s Facebook page. The court also convicted Ezzat Ghoniem, founder of the ECRF, human rights lawyer Hoda Abdelmoneim and 26 others and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from five years to life. The court also ruled to add the 30 convicted defendants to the “list of terrorists” which leads to asset freezes and travel bans and place them on police probation for five years after prison. Defendants were denied their right to defence, not to self-incriminate and to genuine review by a higher tribunal. Verdicts by ESSCs are final and cannot be appealed. Only Your Excellency retains the power to authorize, quash or commute sentences or to order a retrial; the decision is pending.
On June 1, authorities transferred Aisha el-Shater from al-Qanater prison to the 10th of Ramadan prison in Sharqia governorate. Her family learned that hygiene conditions in her new cell, which she shares with two other prisoners, are better than her previous conditions in al-Qanater prison. However, she has no access to sunlight and for her exercise outside her cell, she is only allowed to walk in a corridor. She is also banned from having any personal belongings and a refrigerator, which means she cannot receive any perishable food items from her family and must rely on prison food. Aisha el-Shater suffers from aplastic anaemia, a rare and serious condition affecting the blood. Despite this, prison authorities continue to refuse her adequate healthcare, including transfer to an outside hospital if necessary for diagnosis and treatment. On May 16, Mohamed Abo Horeira was transferred from Badr 3 prison to the 10th of Ramadan prison. His family members are banned from visiting him and have no information about his prison conditions and health. Both Aisha el-Shater and Mohamed Abo Horeira are banned from corresponding with their relatives and lawyers through letters or phone calls.
I urge you to ensure that Aisha el-Shater, Mohamed Abo Horeira and others convicted in connection with the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms case are immediately and unconditionally released and that their convictions and sentences are quashed as they stem solely from the exercise of their human rights or peaceful dissent. Pending their release, they must be provided with the means to regularly communicate with their family and lawyers and with access to adequate healthcare including outside prison, if necessary.