Urgent Action Update: ARBITRARILY DETAINED LAWYER DENIED HEALTH CARE (Egypt: UA 190.18)
December 10, 2021
Arbitrarily detained Egyptian human rights lawyer Hoda Abdelmoniem is standing trial by the Emergency State Security Court on bogus charges stemming from her human rights work. On October 11, 2021, Hoda Abdelmoniem told the judge and her family during a court session that she suffers from a heart condition, for which she must undergo a cardiac catheterization, but that prison authorities are refusing to transfer her to an outside hospital for treatment.
Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on February 4, 2022.
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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President Abdelfattah al-Sisi
Office of the President, Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2391 1441
Email: [email protected]
Human rights lawyer Hoda Abdelmoniem has been arbitrarily detained for over three years, solely in relation to her human rights work. After spending 35 months in pre-trial detention, the Supreme State Security Prosecution referred her to trial by the Emergency State Security Court (ESSC) on charges of joining, financing, and supporting a “terrorist group” and disseminating news on social media accusing the security forces of human rights violations through a Facebook page titled “the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms” in order to incite violence against state institutions. These charges relate to her work with the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF). Proceedings by the ESSCs, which are special courts activated when there is a state of emergency, are inherently unfair and their verdicts are not subject to appeal. Hoda Abdelmoniem’s right to adequate defence has also been violated, as she is banned from meeting with her lawyer except in court. The trial, which began on September 11, 2021, has been adjourned to December 15, 2021.
During a court hearing held on October 11, 2021, Hoda Abdelmoniem told the judges that the prison doctor said she required a cardiac catheterization and requested her release on medical grounds. She reported also being told by the prison doctor that transfers to external hospitals were suspended because of Covid-19. Amnesty International is aware of the transfer of other prisoners to external hospitals since the Covid-19 outbreak, including Hoda Abdelmoniem’s brief transfer on November 30, 2020, for treatment for suspected kidney failure. In addition to her heart condition, she has kidney disease, arterial thrombosis, and high blood pressure. Officials at the al-Qanater Prison for women, where she is held, have denied any prison visits or other contact with her family since her detention on November 1, 2018. Her relatives also continue to be denied access to her medical records, raising their anguish about her health. The judges presiding over her trial dismissed requests to ensure her access to adequate health care and family visits.
We therefore urge you to ensure that Hoda Abdelmoniem is immediately and unconditionally released and all charges against her are dropped as her detention and prosecution stem solely from her human rights work. Pending her release, we call on you to ensure that she is provided with the means to regularly communicate with her family and lawyers, has regular access to adequate health care including outside of prison and is provided with her medical records.