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One year since Egypt's unjust sentence against Gamal Eid, other rights defenders

Human rights activist Gamal Eid is seen at a court in Cairo, 24 March 2016
Human rights activist Gamal Eid is seen at a court in Cairo, 24 March 2016

REUTERS/Asmaa Waguih

This statement was originally published on anhri.net on 18 September 2017.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that a year has gone by since the unjust political ruling under the guise of a legal verdict to freeze the assets of its director Gamal Eid, along with many human rights defenders and independent human rights organizations. The politically motivated case known as Civil Society case No. 173, is part of the Egyptian regime's vicious campaign against human rights, democracy and the January revolution, the revolution for human dignity.

On September 17, 2016, a court in Cairo froze the assets of ANHRI's director, in addition to some independent human rights organizations and their directors. The move was taken upon a request from the investigating judge, who in turn relied on fabricated and false information by an officer from the political police, or "State Security", without a serious investigation. This is the most severe measure taken in a series of reprisals by the state against independent human rights defenders.

ANHRI and its executive director were subjected to violations in which the judiciary, the media and the political police were used, including:

  • A cheap media smear campaign with the help of some "yellow" [tabloid] journalism
  • Telephone threats of legal action and retaliation if ANHRI's director did not remain silent, via calls made through private numbers only available to state agencies
  • Banning ANHRI's director from traveling since February 4, 2016
  • Police summonses for some of ANHRI's staff as part of an intimidation campaign
  • Attempts to recruit some of ANHRI's staff members and pressure them to become State Security informants
  • A judicial decision to freeze the said assets on the basis of a false and fabricated investigation
  • Shutting down six public libraries established by ANHRI's director in local neighborhoods using the human dignity award he received in Germany in 2011, with the complicity of Egypt's candidate for UNESCO
  • An attempt to fabricate a tax evasion case, although ANHRI and its director pay taxes on a regular basis
  • Blocking ANHRI's website without providing any justification and with total disregard for the law and the constitution
  • A misinformation campaign by some newspapers and complicit human rights defenders to convince the public that the Human Dignity Award received by ANHRI's director from Germany is a Qatari prize

ANHRI said: "The July 3 regime has dedicated all its efforts to attacking independent human rights organizations and the movement for democracy, without a ceiling and without boundaries, starting with undermining the media, wasting the independence of the judiciary, and granting the Ministry of Interior - which has not been reformed - the chance to retaliate against all critical voices or those who demand their rights, and despite the reprisals against independent human rights defenders, they are still better off than victims of torture, enforced disappearances and prolonged pre-trial detention prisoners."

ANHRI confirms, as one of the independent human rights organizations, that it has decided to continue to do its work and reject the idea of collusion as a matter of principle. Defending the rule of law, justice and human rights, in spite of its difficulties, it became the only and most important option in the face of a police regime, that is working diligently on the illusion of solidifying tyranny at the price of the rights of the poor, the opposition and those who call for democracy.

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