Call for release imprisoned Egypt human rights lawyers amid COVID-19 crisis
In view of serious threats to life and health, Lawyers for Lawyers calls upon Egypt to immediately release all human rights lawyers unjustly jailed in Egypt amid the global COVID-19 crisis. Unjustly jailed lawyers include Mohsen Bahnasi, Zyad el-Elaimy, Mahienour El-Massry, Amr Imam, Mohamed El-Baqer, Ibrahim Metwally, Hoda Abdel-Moneim, Haytham Mohadeen, Mohamad Ramadan and Gamel Eid.
Lawyers for Lawyers earlier reported about the arrests of abovementioned lawyers and is also frequently raising awareness about the case of Mahienour El-Massry as part of our #FreeTheLawyers campaign.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged governments and authorities to work to quickly reduce the number of people in detention. She noted, “Now, more than ever, governments should release every person detained without sufficient legal basis, including political prisoners and others detained simply for expressing critical or dissenting views’’.
Reports indicate that detention conditions in Egypt are poor and unsanitary, the Tora Prison in Cairo being a sad example. Months before the COVID-19 outbreak in Egypt, UN experts noted that Egypt’s detention conditions ‘’may be placing the health and lives of thousands [of] prisoners at severe risk.’’ Some of the lawyers already suffer from health issues. Furthermore, we were informed that there are no prison visits allowed. This means that family members are not able to bring clean clothes and medicine to their incarcerated family members.
It has been reported that Egypt released 15 opposition activists from prison as a preemptive measure amid the COVID-19 crisis. The Supreme State Security Prosecution did not clarify why these 15 activist were released.
Lawyers for Lawyers calls upon the Egyptian authorities to release all lawyers who have been unjustly jailed. Lawyers for Lawyers has grave concerns about the situation of lawyers in Egypt and urges the Egyptian authorities to ensure that all lawyers in Egypt can carry out their professional duties without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.
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