Egypt must immediately and unconditionally release political activist Mohamed Adel and other prisoners of conscience, Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), and 27 other human rights organizations demanded in a letter published today.
Mohamed Adel, the former spokesperson of the April 6 Youth Movement, was sentenced to four years in prison after spending five years in pretrial detention in a case stemming solely from his peaceful exercise of freedom of expression. In addition to demanding the release of Mohamed Adel, the organizations "also call on the Egyptian authorities to halt acts of repression and prosecution on political grounds against activists and political opposition figures in Egypt, including recently against the publisher and activist Hesham Kassem, and to uphold the principles of human rights and the rule of law."
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Here is the text of the statement:
The undersigned human rights organizations condemn the verdict sentencing the former spokesperson of the April 6 Youth Movement and political activist, Mohamed Adel, to four years in prison, after he already spent five years in pretrial detention, in a case stemming solely from his peaceful exercise of freedom of expression. The undersigned organizations assert that this verdict demonstrates that the Egyptian authorities, including the judiciary, are targeting political activists with bogus charges and subjecting them to unfair trials as a punishment for their peaceful activities, despite presidential initiatives and government statements attempting to imply an improvement in the human rights situation in Egypt. The organizations call for the immediate release of Mohamed Adel and other prisoners of conscience in Egypt.
On September 2, 2023, a misdemeanor court in Aga, Mansoura, issued a verdict sentencing Adel to four years in prison in case number 2981 of 2023, after he was accused of spreading false news on social media. He had previously served two years and seven months in detention, leaving him with one year and five months remaining in his sentence, in addition to the possibility of his continued detention in other cases after his sentence is completed.
Since his arrest in June 2018, from inside the Aga Police Station while serving a probation sentence in a previous case, Mohamed Adel has faced an unfair trial. He has been held in pre-trial detention for three separate cases with similar charges, including involvement with an unlawful group and spreading false news, in violation of the maximum period for pretrial detention of two years and undermining the guarantees of a fair trial.
Mohamed Adel was previously charged in relation to a complaint lodged by a Mansoura resident in case number 5606 of 2018 with joining an unlawful group and spreading false news. Then, shortly thereafter, Adel faced similar charges in case number 4118 of 2018 in Sherbin. In 2020, he was summoned to the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP) and faced similar accusations in case number 467 of 2020. Adel was unjustly imprisoned along with other activists at the end of 2013 for three years until early 2017 on charges related to unauthorized protests under the draconian Protest Law. Less than a year and a half after his release, authorities arrested him again.
The undersigned human rights organizations reiterate their demand for the immediate and unconditional release of Mohamed Adel and the cessation of violations against individuals exercising their right to express their opinions and practice their constitutionally guaranteed rights. These organizations emphasize that his continued detention not only violates his rights but also serves as further evidence of the ongoing disregard for the rule of law, and the vengeful targeting of activists, even if their activities date back a decade or more. The signatory organizations also call on the Egyptian authorities to halt acts of repression and prosecution on political grounds against activists and political opposition figures in Egypt, including recently against the publisher and activist Hesham Kassem, and to uphold the principles of human rights and the rule of law.
- Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR)
- El-Nadeem Center
- Association of the Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
- Committee for Justice (CFJ)
- Human Rights Watch (HRW)
- EgyptWide for Human Rights
- Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF)
- EuroMed Rights
- Humena for Human Rights and Civic Engagement
- Sinai Foundation for Human Rights
- Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
- Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
- Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies
- Refugees Platform in Egypt
- Amnesty International
- MENA Rights Group
- Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)
- International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
- Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
- International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
- The Freedom Initiative
- Democracy For The Arab World Now (DAWN)
- Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms
- The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)
- Women for Justice Foundation
- PEN America