10 December 2020
Human Rights Day
Today, Human Rights Day is being observed around the world. It marks the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, a document proclaiming the inalienable rights to which everyone is entitled as a human being. These rights are essential regardless of race, religion, sex, language, political opinion, natonality or status.
On this day, we think sadly of Patrick Zaki still in detention and the ongoing investigation into EIPR staff.
9 December 2020
Sisi's visit to France continues
Today, Sisi was presented with France's highest award, the Legion d'Honneur, during his continuing state visit.
We hope this close relationship with Sisi prompts France to demand an end to the crackdown on human rights activists in Egypt. As Rushanara Ali MP said in UK Parliament on 8th December, "the strength of our partnership should be judged by our ability to be able to provide constructive criticism to governments who are responsible for human rights violations".
8 December 2020
Rushanara Ali MP speaks in UK Parliament on the arrests
Rushanara Ali MP spoke in UK Parliament today on the arrests of EIPR colleagues and the detention of human rights activists in Egypt.
7 December 2020
Patrick Zaki's detention to continue, UN press release, and Sisi's first day in France
The Third Terrorism Circuit of the Criminal Court has decided to renew the detention of EIPR Researcher, Patrick George Zaki, for a further 45 days. Patrick was arrested in Cairo Airport on 7th February 2020 on charges of using a social media account to spread false information and news.
UN human rights experts have issued another press release saying that they are "encouraged" by the decision to release EIPR staff. They "call on the Egyptian authorities to stay on this path" and welcome ongoing constructive engagement".
Sisi's first day in Paris included a grand procession led by guards on horses, a meeting followed by a press conference with Macron, meetings with National Assembly leader Richard Ferrand and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, and a dinner at the Elysée.
Macron declared that he would not make human rights a condition for France's cooperation with Egypt, stressing that Egypt is a strategic partner in the Middle East, particularly in the fight against terrorism. Macron did, however, mention by name some people unjustly imprisoned, and he celebrated the release of the EIPR staff.
Hidalgo published a press release revealing that she had handed Sisi a letter demanding the immediate release of imprisoned activists. She mentioned a few by name, including Zaki.
6 December 2020
Court hearings on Patrick Zaki's detention and EIPR asset freezes
Today, we learned that the Third Circuit Terrorism Court will freeze all personal assets of EIPR directors, Karim, Mohamed and Gasser. The asset freeze order does not include the assets of EIPR as an entity itself.
EIPR researcher, Patrick Zaki, also attended a hearing in court today. He was accompanied by his lawyers who presented a case for Patrick's immediate release. The court working day ended, so we await a decision.
5 December 2020
Gasser speaks to Reuters, EIPR press release and letter from European parliamentaries
Gasser Abdel Razek, EIPR Executive Director, spoke to Reuters, saying that he hoped his release would help others jailed for similar allegations.
EIPR also published a press release thanking those who took part in the solidarity campaign. The article underlined the fact that charges against released EIPR staff continue to be investigated and have not yet been dropped. The Court of Appeal will decide whether to uphold an asset freeze order on 6th December.
A group of Green European parliamentaries signed a letter in Le Monde ahead of Sisi's visit to France, stating their concern over the fact that France continues to sell to Egypt military equipment that is used in ways that violate human rights.
4 December 2020
Thank you to all those who supported the release of Karim, Gasser and Mohamed!
Today we send thanks to all those who supported the release of Karim, Gasser and Mohamed. We await to hear news of any conditions placed on their release and of EIPR Researcher Patrick Zaki's continued detention.
3 December 2020
>>>>> Karim, Gasser and Mohamed released! <<<<<
Amazing news, Karim, Gasser and Mohamed have been released!
We are all ecstatic that they are out of jail. We're also waiting to see if any restrictions have been placed on them, or if they have been fully released. Here is Karim this evening, freshly arrived at home, and with a new look:
3 December 2020
France: Letter to Macron in Le Monde and LFI press release
Ahead of Sisi's visit to France next week:
Our letter to President Macron and Foreign affairs Minister Le Drian was published in Le Monde. It was signed by over 500 people, including many elected officials, journalists and academics.
LFI (La France Insoumise, left-wing political party) has published a press release condemning Sisi's official visit next week.
2 December 2020
FIDH and Access Now press releases, Owen Jones tweet and a letter from SOAS alumni
Access Now published a press release condemning the persecution of EIPR by the Egyptian governement. It was signed by over 50 international organisations, including Reporters sans Frontières and Statewatch.
The FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights, a French NGO) published a press release ahead of Sisi's official visit to France. It was signed by 17 organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
A group of SOAS alumni published a letter in solidarity with Karim. It was signed by 164 advocates, civil servants, journalists, lawyors and civil society actors from 34 countries (signatures removed from the link).
Owen Jones tweeted about Karim
1 December 2020
EIPR hearing, Amanpour interview and a message from Scarlett Johansson
Today there was a hearing, following the announcement that Egyptian authorities wanted to freeze EIPR's assets. The defense was not allowed to present any kind of case, and the court will accounce its decision on Sunday. There was one bit of good news though, we caught sight of Karim, Mohamed and Gasser.
Jess and Hossam were interviewed by Christiane Amanpour on CNN
Scarlett Johansson posted a video in support of the EIPR Staff
30 November 2020
Karim's birthday and a tweet from Engel
Congressman Eliot Engel, the Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, publicised his support:
Several celebrities sent Karim happy birthday videos today, his 37th (thanks so much!):
There were also videos from Emma Thompson, Alice Eve, Stephen Fry, Stacey Dooley, Alice Levine and more!
29 November 2020
Lawyer requests, Hossam Bahgat BBC Arabic interview and graphic story in Vrij Nederland
EIPR lawyers requested today that the families of Karim and Mohamed be allowed to visit them in prison. Neither Karim or Mohamed have been seen or heard since their arrivals at prison.
Today Hossam Bahgat, founder of EIPR, was interviewed by BBC Arabic on the arrests of EIPR staff.
Milan Hulsing, a cartoonist, drew the story of the EIPR arrests and was published today by Vrij Nederland.
28 November 2020
Gasser visited in prison and Mada Masr profile
Gasser Abdel-Razek, EIPR Director, is currently being held in Liman Tora prison. Today his wife and mother were allowed to visit him.
Mada Masr published a profile on Gasser and his career in human rights.
27 November 2020
UN human rights experts call for the release of EIPR staff
Today, UN human rights experts published a statement calling for the release of EIPR colleagues.
Today Karim El-Gawhary, foreign correspondent at Taz German newspaper, published an article about his friendship with Gasser and his anguish at the arrests.
26 November 2020
Statement from Italian public figures and Amnesty International launches a petition
A group of Italian public figures published a statement on the EIPR arrests, inviting the Italian Government to support the protection of human rights in Egypt. Signatories included Riccardo Noury, Spokesperson for Amnesty International Italy and Danilo De Biasio, Director of the Human Rights Festival.
Amnesty International launched a 'Take Action' page calling on Egyptian authorities to release Karim, Mohamed and Gasser and drop investigations against them.
25 November 2020
US Senators call for release, ACLU letter and New York Times op-ed
US Senator Baldwin and US Representative Pocan led their Congressional colleagues in calling for the unconditional release of human rights advocates and an end to smear campaigns against their organisations in Egypt. The letter was signed by 11 Senators and 26 Representatives, including Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
The American Civil Liberties Union wrote to US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to urgently ask the US State Department to call for the release of EIPR staff.
Jess published an op-ed in the New York Times.
24 November 2020
Hossam Bahgat interview, EIPR press release, statements from SOAS and NGOs and a tweet from Corbyn
EIPR published a press release documenting Gasser Abdel-Razek's hearing yesterday.
UK MP Jeremy Corbyn tweeted about the arrests.
23 November 2020
Gasser attends a hearing, 50 NGOs sign an open letter and Lisa Nandy comments
Gasser Abdel Razek was the only EIPR staff member present today at a hearing. Held in solitary confinement, he has had his head shaved and is being denied warm clothing and bedding.
In an open letter, over 50 NGOs called on the immediate and unconditional release of Karim, Mohammed and Gasser.
Lisa Nandy MP, Labour’s Foreign Secretary, said she was deeply concerned by the arrests of EIPR staff:
"Their arbitrary detention represents an attack on Egyptian civil society and is particularly troubling given there apparent connection to a recent meeting with European ambassadors. It is entirely unacceptable for campaigners to face such intimidation and mistreatment for engaging in dialogue with diplomats."
22 November 2020
Hearing confirmed for Karim, Mohamed and Gasser tomorrow, Dominic Raab reaction and Ann Linde tweet
A hearing in the New Cairo Court Building has been confirmed for Karim, Mohamed and Gasser.
The UK Government responded today to EIPR arrests in Egypt stating that it was "deeply concerned." Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has raised the issue directly with his Egyptian counterpart and the UK Government is working closely with partners in the international community who share these concerns. "All human rights defenders should be able to work without fear of arrest or reprisals"
In Sweden, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ann Linde tweeted her concern.
21 November 2020
The EU reacts to the arrests and the Washington Post publishes an editorial
Today the EU published a statement annoucning that the arrests of EIPR staff were "of significant concern". The EU has conveyed their concern to the Egyptian authorities. The statement praised EIPR for providing "a critical and invaluable service to the Egyptian people."
The Washington Post published an editorial piece on the arrests and highlighted the impact of the US-Egyptian relationship.
20 November 2020
Petition launched, reactions from UN and Amnesty, and tweets from Sanders, Blinken and more
Today we learned that Karim, Mohamed and Gasser are all being held at Tora prison. We launched our change.org petition calling on the UK Government to urgently intervene and call on the Egyptian authorities to release Karim and the EIPR staff.
Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani, published a press briefing stating concern that the targeting of human rights defenders and further restrictions on freedom of expression are having a profound chilling effect on Egyptian civil society.
Amnesty International also published their first reaction to the arrests of EIPR staff, stating that "authorities in Egypt must end their vicious reprisal campaign against the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and immediately and unconditionally release three senior staff members arrested arbitrarily"
The American Civil Liberties Union tweeted in support of EIPR staff arrested, calling for their immediate release.
19 November 2020
Gasser Abdel-Razek is arrested in Cairo, and tweets from Warren and Baldwin
Today Gasser Abdel-Razek, Executive Director of the EIPR, was arrested from his home in Maadi, Cairo by security forces.
18 November 2020
Karim Ennarah is arrested in Dahab
Karim Ennarah, Director of Criminal Justice at EIPR, was arrested today while on vacation in Dahab, South Sinai. He was escorted by National Security officers to an undisclosed location around 2 p.m.
15 November 2020
Mohamed Basheer is arrested in Cairo
After midnight, security forces raided the home of Mohamed Basheer, the Administrative Manager at EIPR, and detained him for more than 12 hours in a State Security Sector facility. Questioning at the SSI facility focused on a visit to EIPR on 3 November by a number of ambassadors and diplomats, where the discussion revolved around enhancing human rights in Egypt and globally.
He later appeared in the Supreme State Security Prosecution in the Fifth Settlement district, where he was questioned regarding EIPR’s work, its latest publications and its legal aid work.
3 November 2020
EIPR host Western ambassadors
Today EIPR hosted diplomats from 13 Western countries, including Britain, France, Germany and Canada, to brief them on the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt.