Cairo 19 November 2020
The undersigned human rights organizations condemn the arrest of Gasser Abdel Razek, Executive Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and one of the pioneers of the human rights movement in Egypt, as security forces took him from his home in Maadi to an unknown destination this evening. The signatory organizations affirm that the fierce security crackdown against workers of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights will not deter EIPR or any other organizations from continuing to work in defending human rights.
The Egyptian authorities have escalated against EIPR since the beginning of this week, when the security forces arrested Mohamed Basheer, EIPR administrative director, and this was followed by the arrest of Karim Ennarah, EIPR’s criminal justice unit director yesterday. This crackdown also included a wide media campaign that includes accusations of workers in the Egyptian Initiative and other human rights organizations of treason and terrorism through newspapers and television channels that supports the regime of President El-Sisi.
The signatory organizations believe that this security crackdown adds to previous practices that included the arrest of a number of workers in human rights organizations, including the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, and Adalah center for Rights and Freedoms, over the past two years. Human rights defenders have also been subjected to travel bans and assets freeze, that was motivated by the foreign funding case, which was fabricated by the Egyptian authorities after the January 2011 revolution, with the aim of putting pressure on human rights organizations and impeding them from performing their role in defending human rights.
The signatory organizations call on all parties concerned with the human rights situation in Egypt to take clear and appropriate stances to urge the Egyptian authorities to stop this security crackdown, to ensure the release of arrested colleagues, and to stop imposing restrictions on civil society.
The signatory organizations have worked diligently over years and decades to defend human rights in Egypt under grave conditions and challenges. The repressive and retaliatory practices of President El-Sisi’s regime will not affect the organizations’ positions or their support for Egyptian citizens in their struggle to secure their political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights.
The signatory organizations call on all defenders of democracy and human rights in Egypt, such as individuals, organizations, associations, parties and unions, to show solidarity with Egyptian human rights organizations as they face a fierce security crackdown that aims to restrict the ability of civil society to confront totalitarian rule.
The signatory organizations:
- The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS).
- El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture.
- The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).
- The freedom initiative.
- Egyptian Front for Human Rights.
- The Committee for Justice (CFJ).