Egypt: No Meaningful Progress on Human Rights Without These #First7Steps

Press Release

4 May 2021

Cairo, May 4, 2021—Five leading Egyptian human rights organizations today announced a list of seven necessary, clear, and urgent measures to stop the unprecedented erosion of human rights that Egypt has witnessed over the past years.

The organizations said, “the #First7Steps represent the minimum to gauge meaningful improvement in the dismal human rights situation, and only include immediate measures that can implement tomorrow morning if a political decision is made to that effect”.

The five groups called on all civil society organizations, political parties, unions, individuals, and Egyptian communities abroad and regional and international bodies to endorse these seven steps as minimum requirements to begin restoring the dignity and rights of all Egyptians. 

The seven essential steps are:


1-Free Political Prisoners of all backgrounds are imprisoned or detained in the thousands for their peaceful actions.

2-Halt “Endless” Detentions are a tactic to keep critics in indefinite pretrial custody by launching multiple cases against them.

3-Lift the State of Emergency in force since 2017 in violation of the Constitution that authorities have exploited to suspend all due process rights. 

4-Stay All Executions in political and criminal cases until their review by a presidential pardon board.

5-Stop Criminal Prosecutions of Human Rights Activists and close the infamous Case 173 of 2011 (“Foreign-Funding” Case) targeting civil society organizations. 

6-Withdraw the Draft Personal Status Law that reverses years of progress on women’s rights and launch a national debate on new fair family law with equal rights for women.

7-Reverse the Blocking of Websites imposed illegally in the absence of court orders to censor critical media and content.



Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights 

Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression 

El-Nadeem Center against Violence and Torture 

Arabic Network for Human Rights Information 

Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms