Egypt human rights organisations condemn Alliance of Hope arrests

June 28, 2019

Egyptian human rights organisations have condemned the recent wave of arrests of activists, politicians, journalists, lawyers and businessmen, known as the “Alliance of Hope.”

In a joint statement, 12 Egyptian organisations considered the campaign “an egregious example of the Egyptian state’s ability to fabricate imaginary cases involving people from different [political persuasions] under the umbrella of the alleged charge of overthrowing the state” and called for the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees.

The Egyptian Interior Ministry announced Tuesday the arrest of politicians, activists, journalists and businessmen for their part in a campaign to carry out what it called “the plan of hope to target the state and its institutions in conjunction with the celebration of the June 30 revolution.” 

It also announced the targeting of 19 economic entities which were collectively funnelling EGP 250 million pounds into the alliance.

The most prominent of the detainees is former MP Ziad al-Alimi, member of the Higher Committee of the Social Democratic Party, activist Hossam Moanis, leftist journalist Hisham Fouad, and leader of the Revolutionary Socialist Movement and businessman and economist Omar al-Shaniti.

Politicians and activists have said that several of those arrested were preparing to launch a political alliance called the “Alliance of Hope” to contest the next parliamentary elections.

The rights organisations denounced the statement issued against them which accused them of forming an economic political alliance to target and overthrow the state.

The organisations that signed the statement also accused the Public Prosecution and the State Security Prosecution of “negligence and collusion” which opened the way for the state and its security services to “mock the justice system to this extent, in a way that undermines its credibility and independence.”

Their arrests reflect the continued efforts of the authorities to close all outlets and peaceful means of expression, peaceful organisation, political participation and the transfer of power.

In its statement it considered that the attempt to link the political opposition with terrorism means the state is losing credibility, locally and internationally, in its fight against terrorism and by eliminating any opportunity for peaceful political movements to flourish.

The organisations that signed the statement are: the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Comte for Justice, Freedom Initiative, Arab Centre for Law and Society Studies, Nadim Center, Adalah, Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, Egyptian Forum for Human Rights, Freedom of Thought and Expression Foundation, The Egyptian Centre for Human Rights, the Centre for the Rights and Freedoms of Lebanon, and the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information.