Mohamed El-Baqer’s wife arrested after expressing concerns about his injuries
In the morning of 17 April, Mohamed El-Baqer’s wife, Neama Hisham, was arrested from her home and taken to an unknown location. She visited her husband the day before and expressed concerns about his injuries that resulted from an attack by the prison warden the week before. No charges against her have been issued.
On September 29, 2019, El-Baqer was performing his duties as a human rights lawyer at the State Security Prosecution premises in Cairo representing blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah—who had been arbitrarily arrested earlier that day—when he was himself arrested.
They were both accused within Criminal Case 1356/2019 of vague and unfounded charges that have been broadly used to criminalise dissenting voices in Egypt such as: “joining a terrorist group,” “funding a terrorist group,” “disseminating false news undermining national security,” and “using social media to commit a publishing offense”.
Since then he has been detained in various Egyptian prisons. Mohamed El-Baqer’s right to due process has been continuously violated through countless and unjustified renewals of his pretrial detention by both the Supreme State Security Prosecution and Cairo Criminal Court. His lawyers were not allowed to have a copy of the case files ahead of and during the trial and were hence de facto prevented from presenting their defence. Moreover, while in detention, he has been subjected to threats and acts of ill-treatment.
After his transfer to Badr 1 prison on 2 October 2022, the acts of ill treatment continued. On 10 April, Mr El Baqer and other detainees were assaulted by the prison warden. This resulted in an injury in his mouth, ribs and wrists. He and a few other political prisoners were taken to a disciplinary cell, solely wearing their underwear. They were then left without any food, drink and medication for two days. On Thursday, the detainees were taken to solitary cells. After El-Baqer’s wife visited him and expressed concerns about her husband’s injuries, she was also arrested, and taken to an unknown location in the morning of 17 April.
Lawyers for Lawyers closely follows the case of Mr El-Baqer and the harrasment of his family.
Update per 18 April: Neama Hisham has been released after her arbitrary arrest.
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