20 human rights groups demand the release of Mohamed El-Baqer

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On Thursday, 20 human rights groups issued a statement calling for the immediate and unconditional release of human rights lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer, director of Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms.

They said that El-Baqer’s detention was arbitrary and was intended to punish him for his legitimate work. They added that his detention puts his psychological well-being and life in grave danger.

On June 25, 2022, El-Baqer completed 1,000 days of arbitrary detention in Tora High Security 2, a prison known for its harsh and inhuman conditions. He is banned from leaving his cell, denied access to decent health care, and allowed to see his family only once a month.

El-Baqer was arrested on September 29, 2019, while performing his duties as a human rights lawyer when attending the interrogation of blogger and activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was arrested the same morning.

Rights groups said that the Egyptian authorities had ignored the numerous appeals issued for the release of arbitrarily detained human rights defenders, such as the statements published by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, as well as the two resolutions issued by the European Parliament on the situation of human rights defenders in Egypt. They asserted that the Egyptian authorities routinely resort to repressive tactics such as prolonged pretrial detention, enforced disappearances, torture, unfair trials, and judicial harassment to silence dissenting voices. They called on the United States and the European Union to condemn the repressive actions against human rights defenders, journalists and political activists in Egypt. They also called on them to use all possible tools to address the human rights crisis in Egypt.