Detained Egyptian parliamentarian and lawyer

Who we wrote to

A Fattah el-Sisi, president of the Arabic Republic of Egypt.

What’s the issue

We are concerned about the arrest, detention and prosecution of former Egyptian parliamentarian and lawyer Zyad el-Eleimy. On 25 June 2019, he was arrested in Cairo and brought to the State Security Prosecution.

Others were also arrested that day – including political campaigners and journalists - and were accused of leading a plot to “bring down the state.”

Mr el-Eleimy is part of a group of individuals seeking to identify potential candidates to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Egypt. Egyptian state authorities refer to this group as the “Hope Coalition”.

Mr el-Eleimy is now a defendant in case number 930 of 2019. He’s being held in pre-trial detention in Tora prison and faces potential charges of:

  • helping a terrorist organisation achieve its objectives
  • spreading false news on social media to cause strife and to overthrow the government

He suffers from asthma, diabetes and high blood pressure and his health has deteriorated in detention.

What we asked for

We called upon the Egyptian authorities to:

  • immediately release Mr el-Eleimy and revoke any charges pending against him, unless sufficient evidence is available, which is served upon him, and his guilt is established in proceedings carried out in accordance with international fair trial guarantees
  • guarantee his physical and psychological well-being, pending his release, and ensure that the conditions in which he is being detained comply with applicable international standards and that he has access to appropriate health care
  • 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 will continue to monitor Mr el-Eleimy’s situation, and that of other lawyers and human rights defenders in Egypt, as well as actions undertaken by Egypt to implement the recommendations listed above.

Timeline

25 June 2019 – Zyad el-Eleimy and several other political campaigners and journalists arrested

December 2019 – Zyad el-Eleimy questioned in relation to another case about an interview he gave in 2017 to the BBC

17 February 2020 – Mr el-Eleimy's lawyers reported tht criminal proceedings were against him for his part in case number 43 of 2017

18 February 2020 – case number 43 first heard but postponed until 3 March

9 March 2020 – we wrote to the Egyptian president