ANHRI: Lawyers and human rights defenders intimidated in Egypt

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The Arab Network for Human Rights Information said that although lawful texts that protect lawyers, and human rights defenders in particular, are abundant in the Egyptian constitution, Egyptian law, and the international treaties, lawyers and human rights defenders in Egypt are targeted.

The network recorded in a report the blunt violations against lawyers in Egypt, which includes jailing, security pursuit, travel bans, and confiscating stocks and properties, in contradiction to the state’s duty to protect lawyers and the public prosecution’s duty to decide in cases of lawyers as swiftly as possible. ANHRI pointed out that the Egyptian government, instead of respecting the principals related to the role and independence of lawyers and protecting them from performing their profession, intimidated lawyers along with other violations including physical assault.

According to the report, the Egyptian authorities waged media campaigns against human rights lawyers accusing them of plotting and national treason. The report considered that the bar association abandoned its role in supporting its members, so lawyers, particularly human rights defenders, have to confront repression alone. The report included examples of violations against lawyers such as arresting them while performing their work as in the cases of Maheinour Al-Masry, Mohamed Al-Baqer, and Haitham Mohammedin, who were arrested, while at work in the Supreme State Security Prosecution.

The violations also included physical assault as what happened with the outstanding human rights lawyer Gamal Eid, and prosecuting lawyers Ezzat Ghoneim, Hoda Abdel Moneim, and Mohamed Abu Horeira. ANHRI called on the state authorities, on top of them the attorney general, to resume their lawful duties immediately, and make the necessary measures to guarantee the rights of lawyers.