Tarek Hussein released, trial of Khaled Ali postponed
On 27 July 2017, human rights lawyer Tarek Hussein was released after being detained for 40 days. He has been reunited with his family. Tarek Hussein could still potentially be imprisoned as the Prosecutor has not formally closed the investigation. L4L welcomes his release and will continue to monitor his situation closely.
Tarek Hussein was arrested on 17 June 2017. The police also confiscated his laptop and cell phone. He was accused of “joining an illegal organisation” and “calling for a protest”. On 18 June 2017 the Al-Khanka District Prosecutor decided that Tarek Hussein could be released on bail of 2000 EGP (approx. 99 euros) which he duly paid. However he was not released. L4L called on the authorities to immediately release him.
Tarek Hussein’s arrest came amidst a renewed crackdown on human rights defenders after the Egyptian Parliament voted to transfer the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, which triggered wide popular opposition. Tarek Hussein was the lawyer for several of those arrested in that crackdown.
Another lawyer was arrested in connection with the protests over the transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia. On 23 May 2017, Khaled Ali, a prominent human rights lawyer and a former presidential candidate, was arrested. The day after he was released on bail. According to his lawyer, Negad el Borai, Khaled Ali was charged with making physical gestures “that violate public morals”. The charge relates to a photo showing Khalid Ali celebrating with his supporters outside the Supreme Administrative Court, after the court issued a judgement reversing a government decision to hand over control of the Tiran and Sanafir islands to Saudi Arabia. Khaled Ali denied the charges. If he is found guilty he can receive not only a prison sentence or a fine, but it would also mean he would no longer be eligible to stand for election. We were informed that the court hearing in the trial against Khaled Ali has been postponed to 18 September 2017.
L4L will continue to monitor the case against human rights lawyer Khaled Ali closely.
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