Egypt Escalates Crackdown against Human Rights Activists with Abduction and Torture

Country: Egypt
October 16, 2019

Since anti-corruption protests began on September 20, 2019, the government of Egypt has arrested more than 3,120 people, including respected civil society leaders and the lawyers defending them. On October 12, 2019, armed plainclothes officers kidnapped Egyptian activist and journalist Esraa Abdelfattah in an escalating crackdown on civil society leaders.

Abdelfattah is detained under investigation for “disseminating false news” and “misuse of social media.” In her first day of detention, she was tortured by government officials. Abdelfattah, a 2011 nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize, has faced sustained government harassment due to the nature of her work over the last decade. We join organizations around the globe in demanding her immediate and unconditional release. Read more about her situation in yesterday’s DemocracyAlert.

On October 4, 2019, the World Movement issued another DemocracyAlert highlighting the arrests and harassment of human rights lawyers, including lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer. Recent reports have surfaced detailing the inhumane circumstances of his detention. “He is being detained in a cell with poor ventilation and was blindfolded, stripped of his clothes and verbally insulted by prison guards who also prevented him from showering for nine days and from buying clean water or food from the prison canteen.” Read more about his detention here.