Egyptian Authorities Deny Justice to Detained Nubian Activists

November 9, 2017

On September 3, 2017, Egyptian authorities arrested 24 Nubian activists, including human rights lawyers Maysara Abdoun and Mohamed Azmy, during a peaceful demonstration in Aswan, Egypt. The activists’ protests drew attention to the forced displacement of Nubians from their historic lands between 1912 and 1964 and demanded that the Egyptian government grant them “their right to return” per the Constitution.

Shortly after the arrests, the authorities detained another Nubian activist, Fahed Awad, as he attempted to visit the 24 activists at their prison camp. Per Egyptian law, prisoners must be granted trial within 15 days of their detention; however, hearings for the activists have been postponed four times. Their current court date is set for November 14, 2017. Additionally, on November 5, 2017, one of the detainees, prominent activist, French citizen, and businessman Gamal Sorour, died from a diabetic coma in detention after authorities denied him prompt medical care for his health issues. On November 7, ten other Nubian activists were arrested for protesting against the prison conditions that led to Sorour’s death.

The 34 Nubian activists also known as the Dafoof Detainees – a reference to the type of the drums they played while they protested – are facing charges for “illegally protesting,” “receiving funds from foreign sources,” and “disrupting public order.” If the activists are found guilty of these charges, they could spend upwards of five years behind bars. Click here to join The World Movement in calling for their unconditional and immediate release! Learn more about the Nubian activists’ background and the ongoing crackdown on human rights in Egypt here.

Region: Middle East / North Africa | Topic: Human Rights