Trial Saturday for Egypt activists
|Saturday, May 22,2010 12:13|
|By By Bikya Masr Staff|
CAIRO: Two leading Egyptian human rights activists and a top blogger will see the inside of a courtroom on May 22 to fight against charges brought against them by a judge. Ahmed Seif, the director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, Gamal Eid, Executive Director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and Amr Gharbeya, a leading blogger, will face charges of defamation and misuse of communication tools.
The judge accusing them, Abdel Fattah Murad, is continuing his attempts to crackdown on dissidents in the country. He is known for his abuse of power and his willingness to try activists and critics via his position on the court.
Eid and ANHRI have a case pending against Murad, who allegedly copied large portions of ANHRI’s reports in a book he published. That case has yet to be heard by an Egyptian court.
A statement issued by human rights organizations in the country said that the charges of the Khalifeh prosecution – charged with trying the case – have added another charge of forming an organization not based on Egyptian law. This, the statement said, replaced “misuse of communication tools” in what the organizations said was “an attempt to obscure the real reason for their trial.”
Below is part of the statement from the organizations, with a complete list of signatories:
The undersigned organizations, members of the solidarity campaign for the defense of human rights defenders in Egypt,
* As they recognize in the trial of the three defenders a flagrant attempt to terrorize all human rights defenders in Egypt,
* Cannot overlook the link between this referral to trial by the public prosecutor himself and the recent statements by Dr. Abdel Aziz Hegazi, chairperson of the NGO Federation who warned that the era of human rights organizations is over and supported the intervention of security authorities to maintain Egypt’s national security!
* Nor can they overlook the link between this crackdown on human rights defenders and the current and expected future human rights violations associated with the Shura council elections and will probably continue with parliamentary elections and then the presidential elections in 2011. Instead of honoring its commitments to the respect of human rights which it makes to the international community, the Egyptian government has decided to silence the voices that monitor, follow up, document and expose the violations of human rights of Egyptian citizens.
* And finally wish to draw attention that the change in charges starting from the complaint filed by judge Abdel Fattah Murad to the Khalifeh prosecution and finally to the office of the public prosecutor, indicates the complicity of the public prosecution with security authorities in dealing with human rights issues in Egypt, an issue that has been repeatedly brought up by human rights organizations in Egypt.
In view of all of the above, the undersigned organizations
Express their complete solidarity with colleagues Ahmed Seif, Gamal Eid and Amr Gharbeya,
And their continued commitment to the struggle for the respect for human rights in Egypt,
And announce the beginning of a solidarity campaign with human rights defenders against the government’s crack down
And call upon all colleagues in human rights organizations, democracy movements and independent media to express solidarity with the three defenders
Signatories in alphabetical order
1. Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-violence Studies – Egypt
2. Arab Human Rights Defenders Union
3. Arab-European center human rights and international law – Norway
4. Association for freedom of thought and expression – Egypt
5. Bahrain youth society for human rights – Bahrain
6. Cairo Center for development – Egypt
7. Center for Trade Union and Workers Services – Egypt
8. Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement – Egypt
9. Egyptian center for Economic and Social Rights – Egypt
10. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights – Egypt
11. Human rights and Democracy media center – SHAMS – Palestine
12. Nadim Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence – Egypt
13. New Woman Foundation – Egypt
14. Taskforce against torture – Egypt
15. The savior of Human Rights organization-Iraq
16. Yemen center for human rights – Yemen
Republished with permission from bikya masr