02/15/2019

Urgent Action Update: Pre-Trial Detention for Human Rights Defender (Egypt: UA 69.18)


On 9 February, a judge ordered the pre-trial detention of human rights defender and lawyer Ezzat Ghoniem for 45 days pending investigation. Ezzat Ghoniem and Azzoz Mahgoub were detained on March 1, 2018. The court ordered their release on probation on 4 September 2018, provided they report to a police station twice a week. They were never released, and on September 14 they were forcibly disappeared by the authorities. On 20 October 2018, an arrest warrant was issued against them for not respecting the probational terms – which they could not apply as being forcibly disappeared. Ezzat Ghoniem remained forcibly disappeared until February 9, when lawyers saw him at the Cairo Criminal Court. Azzoz Mahgoub is still held incommunicado.

Share
Share

TAKE ACTION:

  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.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 69.18. 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.
Mr. Nabil Sadek
Public Prosecutor
Office of the Public Prosecutor,
Dar alQada al-Ali, Down Town
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 Counsellor,

On 9 February 2019, a judge ordered the pre-trial detention of human rights defender and lawyer Ezzat Ghoniem pending investigation in case 441/2018. On 1 March 2018, Ezzat Ghoniem and Azzoz Mahgoub were arrested on charges of “joining a banned group”, “disseminating false news” and “providing international bodies with false information”. Their 15-day detention kept on being renewed until 4 September 2018, when a court ordered their probational release, provided they report to a police station twice a week. They were never released, and on September 14, the National Security Agency officers forcibly disappeared them. As they could not observe their probational terms, an arrest warrant was issued against them on 20 October 2018, by the same judge that issued the latest order against Ghoniem. Ezzat Ghoniem’s whereabouts were unknown until February 9, 2019, when lawyers saw him blindfolded and in a glass cage at the Cairo Criminal Court. Azzoz Mahgoub, remains in custody of the authorities and his fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

I urge you to ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Ezzat Ghoniem and reveal the fate and whereabouts of Azzoz Mahgoub, as they have been detained solely for their peaceful human rights work and the exercise of their right to freedom of expression. I urge you to drop all the charges against them and ensure that, pending their release, Ghoniem and Mahgoub are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that their conditions of detention are in line with international standards. I urge to ensure that a prompt, independent, effective and impartial investigation is conducted into the circumstances surrounding Ghoniem’s enforced disappearance from 14 September to 9 February, as well as Mahgoub’s ongoing incommunicado detention, make the results public and ensure that all those suspected to be responsible for violating the detainees’ rights are brought to justice in fair trials.

Yours sincerely,

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES