OMCT - World Organisation Against Torture

11/28/2019 | News release | Distributed by Public on 11/28/2019 08:00

Egypt: Threats and harassment against family members of Mr. Ahmed Saïd

EGY 009 / 1119 / OBS 099

Threats / Harassment

Egypt

November 28, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the following situation in Egypt.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by reliable sources about the threats and harassment against family members of Mr. Ahmed Saïd, Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedom (ECRF) Coordinator in Germany[1].

According to the information received, on November 25, 2019, officers of the National Security Agency (NSA) came to the house of Mr. Ahmed Saïd's aunt in Cairo, asking about the whereabouts of his mother. They phoned his uncle asking the same. They finally reached Mr. Ahmed Saïd's mother by phone and asked her whether she was Mr. Saïd's mother and where she lived. As she refused to answer them, they required her to come and visit them at NSA headquarters in Mansoura. During the previous days, Mr. Ahmed Saïd received different messages, relayed to him through former political prisoners, threatening to harm his 13-year-old son,who still lives in Egypt.

The Observatory recalls that Mr. Ahmed Saïd was arrested on November 19, 2015 and sentenced to two years in prison for his participation in a peaceful manifestation commemorating the fourth anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution and asking for accountability for the victims of the repression of the protests that occurred at that time. He was released on November 18, 2016, after receiving presidential pardon and subsequently left to Germany.

This is not the first time Mr. Ahmed Saïd's family is targeted, as his father was arrested for one night in 2017 during his campaigning against the German-Egyptian security deal. The reason for targeting him at this specific moment is unclear, however it could be in retaliation from recent activities Mr. Ahmed Saïd conducted a few days before the threats against his relatives, such as a panel discussion in Amsterdam and an advocacy meeting at the Foreign Ministry in The Hague he participated in.

The Observatory condemns the threats against Mr. Ahmed Saïd's family members, as they seem to be only aimed at punishing him for his legitimate human rights activities.

The Observatory urges the Egyptian authorities to guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Ahmed Saïd's family members and to put an end to any act of harassment against them and all human rights defenders in Egypt.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Egypt asking them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity and psychological well-being of Mr. Ahmed Saïd's family members and all human rights defenders in Egypt;

ii. Put an end to all acts of harassment against Mr. Ahmed Saïd's family members, as well as against all human rights defenders in Egypt, and ensure that they are able to carry out their activities without hindrance;

iii. Conform with the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9, 1998, especially its Articles 1 and 12.2; and

iv. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Egypt.

Addresses:

· President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, H.E. Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Fax: +202 2391 1441. Email: [email protected], Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial· Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Kemal Madbouly Mohamed. Email: [email protected] · Minister of the Interior, Mr. Mahmoud Tawfik, Email: [email protected] · Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohamed Hossam Abdel-Rahim, Fax: +202 2795 8103 · Public Prosecutor, Counsellor Nabeel Sadek, Fax: +202 2577 4716 · Head of the Egyptian parliament's Human Rights Committee, Mr. Alaa Abed, Email: [email protected] · Mr. Mohamed Fayeq, President of the National Council for Human Rights, Fax: + 202 25747497 / 25747670. Email: [email protected]· H.E. Mr. Alaa Youssef, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Egypt to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Email: [email protected] · Embassy of Egypt in Brussels, Belgium, Fax: +32 2 675.58.88; Email: [email protected]

Please also write to the diplomatic missions or embassies of Egypt in your respective country.

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Paris-Geneva, November 28, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 by FIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of this programme is to intervene to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rights defenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of ProtectDefenders.eu, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented by international civil society.