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Dec-23-2013 12:44printcomments

Egypt: Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights Raided by Security Forces

Five of the six detainees were released on the morning of 19 December 19, at approximately 11:00 a.m., while Mohamed Adel is still in detention and his whereabouts remain unknown.


The "ECESR" office after the police raid (Photo: ECESR's official twitter account)

(WASHINGTON, DC) - In the early hours of 19 December 2013, Egyptian Security Forces raided the headquarters of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), arbitrarily arrested six of its members and held them incommunicado. ECESR is a human rights organisation headed by former presidency candidate, lawyer and human rights defender, Mr Khalid Ali.

The arrested human rights defenders were Mr Moustafa Eissa, Head of ECESR Documentaries Unit, Mr Mahmoud Belal, a lawyer, and four volunteers, Mr Hossam Mohamed Nasr, Mr El-Sayed Mahmoud El-Sayed, Mr Mohamed Adel, and Mr Sherif Ashour. Five of the six detainees were released on the morning of 19 December 19, at approximately 11am, while Mohamed Adel is still in detention and his whereabouts remain unknown. Security Forces also vandalized some of the equipment and furniture of the Media Unit, and confiscated computers belonging to the Unit.

During the whole night, ECESR's lawyers tried to reach the place where the six members were being detained, but police refused to provide them with any information about the human rights defenders' whereabouts. ECESR lawyers have filed a report on the raid of the ECESR headquarters, the attack on staff members and volunteers, and the destruction and stealing of equipment.

His Excellency
Adly Mahmoud Mansour
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt

Your Excellency,

I am William Nicholas Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com.

In the early hours of 19 December 2013, Egyptian Security Forces raided the headquarters of the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), arbitrarily arrested six of its members and held them incommunicado. ECESR is a human rights organisation headed by former presidency candidate, lawyer and human rights defender, Mr Khalid Ali.

The arrested human rights defenders were Mr Moustafa Eissa, Head of ECESR Documentaries Unit, Mr Mahmoud Belal, a lawyer, and four volunteers, Mr Hossam Mohamed Nasr, Mr El-Sayed Mahmoud El-Sayed, Mr Mohamed Adel, and Mr Sherif Ashour. Five of the six detainees were released on the morning of 19 December 19, at approximately 11:00 a.m., while Mohamed Adel is still in detention and his whereabouts remain unknown.

Security Forces also vandalized some of the equipment and furniture of the Media Unit, and confiscated computers belonging to the Unit. During the whole night, ECESR's lawyers tried to reach the place where the six members were being detained, but police refused to provide them with any information about the human rights defenders' whereabouts.

ECESR lawyers have filed a report on the raid of the ECESR headquarters, the attack on staff members and volunteers, and the destruction and stealing of equipment.

I view the crackdown on ECESR as a part of an escalating harsh campaign to silence human rights defenders in Egypt. This campaign started with defaming human rights organisations in the media, in the framework of the “war on terrorism”, before escalating to direct and physical attacks against human rights defenders.

I urge the authorities in Egypt to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally release Mohamed Adel as he is being arbitrarily detained as a result of his work in defence of economic and social rights, and as a member of ECESR;
  2. Immediately reveal the place of detention of Mohamed Adel and ensure that his treatment while in detention adheres to all those conditions set out in the ‘Basic Principles for Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by General Assembly resolution 45/111 of 14 December 1990', and grant him immediate and unfettered access to his family and legal representatives;
  3. Guarantee in all circumstances that human rights defenders in Egypt are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions, including smear campaigns and physical violence.

Yours Sincerely,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
Twitter @wnicholasgomes
www.williamnicholasgomes.com

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