Egypt Watch

Egyptian emergency court sentences 30 human rights defenders to long-term imprisonment

An Egyptian emergency court has sentenced 30 defendants to life, including Aisha Khairat al-Shater, daughter of the Muslim Brotherhood’s deputy general guide Khairat al-Shater, and human rights lawyers Hoda Abdel Moneim and Ezzat Ghoneim. On Saturday, nine human rights groups issued a joint statement calling on the Egyptian authorities to drop charges against members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, Abdel Moneim, Ghoneim, and Muhammad Abu Huraira, stressing the need for their immediate release and an end to all forms of abuse against human rights activists.

According to the statement, the trial of members of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms represents one aspect of “the government’s approach to abuse and retaliation against human rights defenders.” It is also further evidence of the “false allegations of the seriousness of the National Dialogue and the National Strategy for Human Rights.”

In March and November 2018, Egyptian security forces arrested members of the rights group as part of an extensive campaign of arrests. After that, they were subjected to several violations documented by local and international rights organizations. Abdel Moneim was treated humanely and denied visitation and necessary health care. Aisha Al-Shater, who was included in the case, was also tortured.

The organizations that signed the statement are the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, the Egyptian Front for Human Rights, and the El-Nadim Center for Combating Violence and Torture.