Human rights violations in Egypt

Chairwoman Hautala remains deeply concerned over the information concerning the arbitrary detentions of human rights defenders[:] Messrs. Wael Abbas, Mostapha Al-Nagar, Ms. Israa Abdel Fatah and Ms. Marianne Nagy Hanna, journalists, Messrs. Sameer Awad Bassem, representative of Al Ghad party, Fathy Mohammed Bassem, representative of the Egyptian Democratic Institute, Sharif Abdel Aziz Mahmoud, Mahmoud Mohammed Khalid, known as “Mac”, and Ms. Shahinaz Abdelsalam, bloggers, Mr. Nasser Abdel Hamid and Ms. Salma Akal, members of the Democratic Front Party, Mr. Roaa Ibrahim, student, Mr. Ahmed Badawy Abdel Meguid, a member of the “Sixth April Youth”, Messrs. Ahmed Abu Zekry, Talaat Al-Sawy, Ahmed Mahmoud Mustafa, Ismail Sayyid Omar, Ahmed Fathy Mohamed, Hossam Saber Ali, Hanan Ismail, Hamada Abdel Fatah, Gamal Fareed, Mohamed Khalaf Mohamed, Al- Hosseiny Sayed Ahmed, Mohamed Hamdy Hassan, Mohamed Abdallah Mohamed, Heshmat Abdallah Mohamed, Ismail Eleskandarani and Tareq Sabry Abdallah, Ms. Nadia Al-Zeiny Barouni, Ms. Amira Al-Tahawi, Ms. Baula Abdo Ameen and Ms. Mona Fouad Ahmed in the Governorate of Qena.

According to the information received from the civil society actore these thirty-three above-mentioned human rights defenders were arrested on 15 January 2010 in Qena in Egypt. The group was detained incommunicado in the Qena Security Directorate, their lawyers being denied access to the Qena Security Directorate and told that their clients were not being held there. There are concerns that some of the prisoners were subjected to ill-treatment and that some of them were held in inhumane conditions. On January 16, 2010, the group was released and no charges have been brought against them to date.

Chairwoman therefore calls on Egyptian authorities to carry out an independent and impartial investigation into the imprisonment of the above mentioned persons and reports of ill-treatment. Furthermore, the authorities must stop harassment of all human rights defenders in Egypt.

The Members of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights will continue to monitor the human rights situation especially concerning the right to freedom of speech and the authorities’ commitment to upholding the rights under the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a party.