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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 08 Three politicians arbitrarily detained
UA 107/19
Aktiv seit 8. August 2019 | Noch 25 Tage Laufzeit

Three politicians arbitrarily detained

AI-Index: MDE 12/0839/2019

Human rights lawyer and former parliamentarian Zyad el-Elaimy, along with journalists and politicians Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad, as well as at least 12 other politicians, journalists, labour activists and students have been arbitrarily detained by the Egyptian authorities over charges that relate to their peaceful political activities. The Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced their detention on 25 June 2019, however Amnesty International has confirmed that at least six of them were detained before that date.


Amnesty International has documented the arrest of 15 individuals in case 930/2019 known as «Hope case». The list of detainees includes Zyad el-Elaimy, a former parliamentarian, human rights lawyer and one of the leaders of the Egyptian Social Democratic party, journalist and spokesperson for the leftist Popular Current party Hossam Moanis, journalist, trade unionist and socialist politician Hisham Fouad, as well as 12 others arrested on separate dates in June and July. Amnesty International is aware of 105 individuals being investigated in the case; many of them are currently detained.

The case came to light on 25 June 2019, when the Ministry of Interior announced in a statement that it had uncovered «a joint plot between the Muslim Brotherhood’s exiled leadership and the civil opposition [in Egypt] to target the state and its institutions in order to oust it on 30 June. » The statement refers to the involvement of several Muslim Brotherhood and opposition figures abroad, as well as the arrest of an unspecified number of individuals inside Egypt, including eight mentioned by name.

Egypt has seen a rise in the number of detainees being held in pre-trial detention for months and sometimes years over terrorism-related charges, in many cases based on police investigations only, which the Court of Cassation has ruled do not constitute evidence on their own. Detainees in these cases are usually subjected to enforced disappearances for days, weeks or even months, before they are brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, which then orders their detention pending investigation into terrorism-related charges.

The Egyptian authorities have orchestrated a brutal crackdown on critics and opponents from across the whole political spectrum, from supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood to leftist or liberal activists, and even supporters of former President Hosni Mubarak. The crackdown has also targeted journalists, lawyers, staff of civil society organizations, and the general public, including football fans and individuals voicing criticism to economic or social conditions. These arrests are effectively turning Egypt into an open-air prison with no opposition, critics or independent reporting allowed.

Amnesty International believes that these arrests are directly related to a coalition's plans to unite secular parties ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled to take place in April-May 2020. The arrests follow a similar pattern observed in 2017 ahead of the 2018 presidential elections when the Egyptian authorities launched an unprecedented crackdown on political opponents and critics that culminated with the arrest of President al-Sisi’s contenders and their supporters. Egypt has recently amended its constitution pushing back the date of the presidential election to 2024 instead of 2022, effectively allowing President al-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.


Take action

  • Write an appeal in your own words or use the model letter below.
  • Please take action before 19 September 2019.
  • Preferred language: Arabic or English. You can also write in your own language.

Model letter

Dear Counsellor,

I am concerned that former parliamentarian and human rights lawyer Zyad el-Elaimy, as well as journalists and politicians Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad are among at least 15 individuals arbitrarily detained in case 930/2019 known as «Hope case» over charges that relate to their peaceful political activities. The three individuals, as well as others were arrested in the early hours of 25 June 2019. Other detainees in the case have been arrested between 9 June and 11 July. At least seven have been subjected to enforced disappearances, while at least eight were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment including electric shocks, beatings and threats.

On 2 July, the Public Prosecutor issued a decision to freeze the assets and ban the travel of 83 individuals in relation to the case, including Zyad el-Elaimy, Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad. On 4 July, a judge upheld the decision.

The individuals in the case are currently held in pre-trial detention pending investigations by the Supreme State Security Prosecution into arbitrary charges of «aiding a terrorist group», «membership in a terrorist group» and «spreading false information», in addition to other charges. The charges relate to legitimate activities including participation in public affairs, peaceful expression and defending human rights. The detention conditions of Zyad el-Elaimy and his co-defendants in Tora prison do not meet international standards, particularly regarding access to medical care, which prison authorities have not been providing adequately.

I therefore ask you to immediately and unconditionally release Zyad el-Elaimy, Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad as well as other individuals detained in case 930/2019, as their detention is arbitrary and solely based on the peaceful exercise of their human rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and association. I call on you to also ensure that their assets are unfrozen and that any travel bans against them are lifted. Finally, I urge you to ensure that Zyad el-Elaimy and the other detainees have adequate and regular access to qualified health professionals and to prescribed medication, in compliance with international standards and medical ethics, including the principles of confidentiality.

Yours sincerely,

Appeals to

Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Madinat al-Rehab
Arab Republic of Egypt

Fax: +202 2577 4716
Salutation: Dear Counsellor



Copies to

Ambassade de la République Arabe d'Egypte
Elfenauweg 61
3006 Berne

Fax: 031 352 06 25

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