Arrest and disappearance of Egyptian human rights lawyer

Who we wrote to

The president of the Arabic Republic of Egypt.

What’s the issue

We’re concerned about the arrest and enforced disappearance of Mohamed el-Baqer, a human rights lawyer and director of Adalah Centre for Rights and Freedoms.

Mr El-Baqer was arrested at the State Security Prosecution premises on 29 September while meeting with his client, Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was also arrested that day.

While Mr El-Baqer has been held in pre-trial detention in the maximum-security wing two of Tora Prison, he’s been denied private meetings with his attorney and has been subject to ill treatment.

For the first nine days of his detention, Mr El-Baqer was denied the right to have clean clothes, access to clean water or take a shower.

To date, Mr El-Baqer is still not allowed to receive books or letters, use the prison library, pray in the prison mosque or enjoy outdoor exercise time. He continues to be held in a poorly ventilated and small cell that does not receive sunlight.

What we asked for

We respectfully urge the relevant authorities to:

  • immediately release Mr El-Baqer and revoke any charges pending against him, unless sufficient evidence is available and served upon him, and his guilt is establishing in proceedings carried out in accordance with international fair trial guarantees
  • pending his release, guarantee the physical and psychological wellbeing of Mr El-Baqer and ensure that the conditions in which he’s detained comply with applicable international standards
  • ensure that any violation of his physical or psychological integrity is fully and promptly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice
  • comply with Egypt’s international obligations so that lawyers and human rights defenders can carry out their professional functions without harassment and improper interference

We’ll continue to monitor the situation of Mohamed El-Baqer and other lawyers and human rights defenders in Egypt.