EIPR believes that this world-wide support presented a good example of what could be achieved despite the severely shrunken space for civil society at large and the gagging of all professional and pro-democracy voices in Egypt’s mainstream media.
Programs: Civil Liberties
Today, an EIPR representative submitted a letter to Egypt’s Minister of Social Solidarity, Nevine Al-Kabbaj, after the cabinet announced its approval of the executive by-laws for the new NGO law at the end its meeting last week. According to the law, the by-laws were supposed to be issued before mid-February 2020. Hereafter are some of the main issues and points raised in this letter:
These developments all point to a deliberate attempt by authorities to escalate the crackdown on EIPR by targeting the organization itself in violation of the law, both substantively and procedurally. During the session itself, EIPR’s lawyers were not even allowed to view the content of the order nor were they able to confirm the names included in the asset freeze. They were also not allowed to meet with the defendants in private and consult with them, as has been the case since they were detained.
Abdel-Razek said during the interrogation he received inhumane and degrading treatment in his cell that puts his health and safety in danger. He further elaborated that he was never allowed out of the cell, had only a metal bed to sleep on with neither mattress nor covers, save for a light blanket, was deprived of all his possessions and money, was given only two light pieces of summer garments, and was denied the right to use his own money to purchase food and essentials from the prison’s cantine. His head was shaved completely.
South Cairo Criminal court issued yesterday its decision on Patrick’s hearing session, renewing his remand detention for an additional 45 day pending the investigation in the case 7245/2019. The hearing was held yesterday in Patrick’s presence and the presence of his lawyers from EIPR. Patrick has already spent more than 9 months in remand detention.
Solidarity action with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) We urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Mohammed Basheer, Karim Ennarah and Gasser Abdel-Razek and the dismissal of the case against them.
The recent developments also come as a direct response to our activities in the field of international advocacy, and in particular our meetings with a number of diplomatic missions, the most recent of which was a meeting held at EIPR’s headquarters on November 3rd with 13 ambassadors and accredited diplomats, who discussed ways to improve human rights conditions in Egypt.
In an unprecedented escalation for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a security force arrested Mohamed Bashseer, the Administrative Manager at EIPR from his home after midnight on Sunday the 15th and detained him for more than 12 hours
Everyone has the right to life-saving interventions during or outside of crises.[ii] And yet, women and girls’ rights to bodily autonomy and safe abortion have been some of the first rights to be conveniently sacrificed under the guise of prioritizing COVID, as if health was a zero-sum game. That includes free, safe and legal abortion and comprehensive abortion and post-abortion care, without which women, girls and gender-non-conforming persons are forced to seek unsafe clandestine abortions or to carry unwanted pregnancies to term, in complete violation of our rights.
In particular, the paper reviews three problems surrounding the implementation of the two strategies, namely, first, the absence of data that feeds the indicators previously adopted in the two strategies that are indispensable for their evaluation, and their lack of availability in the few cases in which data are collected. And secondly, lack of commitment to evaluation and review which leads to the difficulty of social accountability. And finally, in the absence of a clear overall vision of how to implement reproductive health policies, as evidenced by the multiplicity of entities responsible for the issue, lack of coordination between them, and the instability of the regulatory frameworks that govern the work of the National Population Council. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations aimed at addressing the three problems and avoiding them in any future planning.