Travel ban and asset freeze against human rights lawyers
10 December 2016

Travel ban and asset freeze against human rights lawyers


In a letter, Lawyers for Lawyers called upon the Egyptian authorities to immediately lift the travel ban against Azza Soliman and Malek Adly and to immediately and unconditionally lift the assets freeze imposed against Azza Soliman her law firm. Lawyers for Lawyers is extremely concerned about these acts of harassment against Ms. Azza Soliman and Mr. Malek Adly, which only seem to aim at sanctioning their legitimate human rights activities.

Lawyers for Lawyers believes these incidents are part of a wider crackdown against human rights defenders, including lawyers, and independent civil society, perpetuated by the Egyptian government that risks to bring to a complete eradication of the human rights community in Egypt.

Mr. Malek Adly, a Egyptian human rights lawyer and director of the Lawyers Network of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) was, after his passport had already been stamped at the departures of Cairo International Airport, informed by the Egyptian Security that a travel ban had been placed upon him and that he was prevented from boarding his flight. He was given no explanations about the reasons behind the travel ban, he was questioned by the security and had his bag searched.

Ms. Azza Soliman, a human rights lawyer and founder of the Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Aid (CEWLA), and member of the Executive Committee of the WHRD MENA Coalition, intended to travel from Egypt to Jordan in order to participate in a training for the Mushawah movement, an organization promoting equity within the Muslim community, when she was informed by the authorities that she was banned from travelling. This followed a judicial order instructed that same day by the investigative judge in the case No. 173/2011, commonly known as “NGOs foreign funding case”, which also ordered the freezing of her personal as well as her law firm’s assets. On 7 December 2016, she was arrested at her home and interrogated as part of an ongoing investigation in the foreign funding case. She was released the same day on bail pending investigations.

Lawyers for Lawyers will closely follow further developments in Egypt, also in light of the recent joint letter of 16 civil society organizations to the EU authorities addressing Egypt’s escalating repression and silencing of civil society organizations.

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