- Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on September 29, 2021.
- 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 107.19. 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]
Human rights lawyer and former parliamentarian, Zyad el-Elaimy, journalist and politician Hossam Moanis, trade unionist and socialist politician Hisham Fouad, and three others were referred to trial in July 2021 in front of an Emergency State Security Court (ESSC) on the charge of “spreading false news to undermine the state, national security, public security and spreading panic among the people” in Case No.957/ 2021.
Amnesty International considers the three men to be prisoners of conscience, targeted solely due to their peaceful political activities. They have been held in pretrial detention since July 2019 and denied the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. On June 23 and July 6, 2021 the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) questioned Zyad el-Elaimy about his social media posts and opinion pieces, some dating back to 2013. On June 28, 2021 the SSSP also questioned Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad. Hisham Fouad was interrogated about his political views, labour rights activism and social media posts. On July 10, 2021 he went on hunger strike against his arbitrary detention, ending it 16 days later due to health concerns. In reprisal of his hunger strike, prison authorities moved him to a solitary confinement cell.
Their trial, which started on July 15, 2021 has been adjourned until August 17, 2021 following requests by defence lawyers to access and photocopy the case file, which exceeds 2,000 pages. The presiding judge barred independent journalists from attending the hearings. According to a source present during trial, the prosecution’s evidence consisted of the defendants’ articles and media interviews about the human rights and political situation in Egypt. Proceedings in front of the ESSC, a special court that operates when a state of emergency is in force, are inherently unfair. Its verdicts cannot be appealed and are only subject to authorization by the president to become final. A day before the trial started, the Court of Cassation upheld the arbitrary decision by a lower court to include Zyad el-Elaimy on the “terrorists list”.
I therefore ask you to immediately and unconditionally release Zyad el-Elaimy, Hossam Moanis, Hisham Fouad, as their detention is arbitrary and solely based on the peaceful exercise of their human rights. I also call on you to ensure that charges against them are dropped, and the decision to include Zyad el-Elaimy on the “terrorists list” rescinded. Pending their release, I urge you to ensure that they have access to adequate healthcare and are held in conditions meeting international standards for the treatment of prisoners.