63 Intl Organizations Call on Egypt to Release 10 Political and Human Rights Activists

Published June 1st, 2021 - 07:56 GMT
Al-Qanatar female prison
Egypt has about 60k political detainees, according to Human Rights Watch. (AFP)

More than 8 years after the current Egyptian president took over power in Egypt, international organizations are still calling on authorities to release thousands of political detainees who have been imprisoned over the years due to their activism.

In a statement that has been issued by Human Rights Watch recently, about 63 international humanitarian organizations have called on Egyptian authorities to release thousands of activists who have been jailed for years due to their political activism.

The letter that has urged immediate action to end what they termed as "the wholesale crackdown on independent organizations and peaceful dissent." has featured names of at least 10 political activists who have been in Egyptian jails for years without charges, including NGOs directors and female activists.

Amongst the names highlighted in the letter there are three women; well-known lawyer Mahienour Al-Massry, Esraa Abdelfatah, and Hoda Abdelmoniem, 

The letter has also mentioned Mohamed Al-Baqer, Ezzat Ghoniem, Ibrahim Ezz el-Din, Haytham Mohamdeen, in addition to human rights researchers Patrick George Zaki who was arrested upon his arrival in Egypt from Italy where he is enrolled in graduate school in February 2020.

In April 2021, the Italian parliament had agreed to grant Zaki exceptional citizenship status, hoping to facilitate his release from Egyptian prisons. However, Italian attempts have not been successful so far.

In previous years, Egyptian authorities had responded to international pressure releasing very few double-nationality detainees, including Egyptian-American journalist Mohamed Sultan and Egyptian-American activist Aya Hijazi.

Last week, the US State Secretary said he had discussed the Egyptian human rights records with the Egyptian president during his first official visit to the country.

In 2019, the US embassy in Egypt reported human rights groups' records of about 60,000 political detainees in the country.


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