Law Society statement…
We presented a statement on Tanzania to the United Nations and NGOs as part of the universal periodic review (UPR) pre-sessions.
We wrote to Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt. We wrote jointly with the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI).
We’re concerned that since late October 2018 the number of arrests, enforced disappearances and incidents of detention against lawyers and human rights defenders has increased in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
We understand that, following a series of raids that took place early in the morning on 1 November 2018, approximately 30 people were arrested and many of them forcibly disappeared.
Among those arrested and disappeared were:
We understand that after 20 days of enforced disappearance, these lawyers and human rights defenders re-appeared on 21 November 2018 at a state security prison.
A pre-trial detention of 15 days was ordered and they’re now allegedly facing charges of:
On 4 November 2018, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms announced it was suspending its operations after the enforced disappearance of its director and co-founder Ezzat Ghoneim.
We understand that Azzouz Mahgoub, a lawyer at that organisation, has also been forcibly disappeared since 14 September 2018.
Both men were arrested in March 2018, and although their release was ordered on 4 September, they’ve been forcibly disappeared since 14 September.
We do not have any information concerning their whereabouts, the charges against them, or if pre-trial detention has been ordered.
We and the IBAHRI urge the relevant authorities to:
March 2018 – Azzouz Mahgoub, lawyer, and Ezzat Ghoneim, director and co-founder of the Egypian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, are arrested
14 September 2018 – Azzouz Mahgoub and Ezzat Ghoneim forcibly disappeared
1 November 2018 – around 30 lawyers and human rights defenders arrested and disappeared after a series of raids
4 November 2018 – Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms suspends operations
21 November 2018 – arrested lawyers and human rights defenders re-appeared at a state security prison