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UA 190/18
Abgeschlossen am 20. Dezember 2018

Lawyer detained in undisclosed location

AI-Index: MDE 12/9365/2018

Human rights lawyer, Hoda Abdelmoniem, was arrested on 1 November 2018. State Security forces broke into her apartment and took her to an undisclosed location.

On 1 November 2018, State Security forces broke into the house of Hoda Abdelmoniem in Cairo at 1:30 am, ransacked it, and took her blindfolded to her mother’s house. While the Security forces searched her mother’s house, she was left blindfolded in a police vehicle. Hoda was then forcibly taken to an unknown destination. Hoda’s daughter witnessed her arrest.

The officers confirmed to Hoda’s daughter that they belong to the State Security forces. However, they did not show an arrest warrant, and refused to tell her daughter about the reason of the arrest or the destination where she was being taken. Hoda was not allowed to take any medicines or personal belongings with her. She has a blood clot in her leg and high blood pressure, resulting in repeated instances of imbalance. Hoda’s lawyers have been asking about her fate and whereabouts in different police stations but have not been unable to locate her. The authorities denied the fact that Hoda has been arrested and said that they do not know her whereabouts. Amnesty International believes that Hoda Abdelmoniem has been forcibly disappeared.

Hoda Abdelmoniem is a 60-year-old human rights lawyer who volunteers as a consultant for the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), a prominent human rights organization. In the last five years, Hoda has been documenting human rights violations, including cases of enforced disappearances. She is also a lawyer at the Egyptian Cassation and Supreme Constitutional Courts, as well as a former member of the National Council for Human Rights and of the Egyptian Bar Association. Amnesty International believes that Hoda’s activism, as well as her being a member of the defence team in several human rights cases, are the reasons behind her arrest.

The arrest of Hoda Abdelmoniem falls within a new wave of arrests that started on 1 November, targeting prominent human rights activists and lawyers, such as Mohamed Abu Horaira, ECRF’s former spokesmen.


Hoda Abdelmoniem had been banned from travelling outside of Egypt since late 2013. She had not been charged or subject to prior investigations.
On 1 November 2018, the day she was arrested, the Egyptian authorities launched a series of raids, arresting at least 31 human rights activists and lawyers; 10 women and 21 men.
The ECRF, which documents enforced disappearances and the expanding use of the death penalty, and provides legal aid to victims of state violations, has been particularly targeted by the crackdown, as many of its members were arrested. On 1 November, Mohamed Abu Horaira, lawyer and former spokesperson of the ECRF was arrested, and since 14 September, human rights defender Ezzat Ghoneim, the co-founder of ECRF, and Azzouz Mahgoub, one of the lawyers of the organization, have been forcibly disappeared. Both Ezzat Ghoneim and Azzouz Mahgoub had been arrested in March 2018, but a court ordered their release on 4 September. On 14 September, their families went to visit them and were told by security forces that they have already been released. Their families and lawyers told Amnesty International that they do not know the fates or whereabouts of the two men. Amnesty International believes that both Ezzat Ghoneim and Azzouz Mahgoub have been forcibly disappeared and are at risk of torture and other-ill treatment.
In a statement published on 1 November announcing the suspension of its human rights work, ECRF cited the current situation in Egypt as incompatible with human rights work and demanded the UN Human Rights Council to intervene.
Amnesty International has consistently called on the UN Human Rights Council to comment on the rapidly expanding human rights crisis in Egypt.
The Egyptian authorities’ latest crackdown on dissidents, started in December 2017 ahead of the presidential elections. Amnesty International has documented the cases of 111 people who were arbitrarily arrested and detained by the security forces, solely for peacefully expressing critical opinions about the authorities or for calling for and participating in protests. At least 70 of them remain imprisoned, facing charges that carry prison sentences of up to 15 years.

Name: Hoda Abdelmoniem

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