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Rights lawyer detained & abused despite bail granted

الحالة: 
Released
About the situation

After being held in detention for 39 days in violation of his release order, human rights lawyer Tarek Hussein (Tito) was finally released on 27 July.

About Tarek Hussein

Tarek Hussein, also known as Tito, is a human rights defender and a lawyer working at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). He is also a member of the Freedom for the Brave campaign, a civil society organisation working to advance the rights of detainees. Tarek Hussein’s younger brother Mahmoud was imprisoned between January 2014 and March 2016 for wearing a T-shirt displaying an anti-torture message.

17 يونيو / حزيران 2017
Rights lawyer detained & abused despite bail granted

On 17 June 2017, a group of police officers raided the home of human rights defender Tarek Hussein in Cairo, verbally and physically abused him before arresting him and taking him to Al-Khanka police station without warrant. He was then accused of “joining an illegal organization” and “calling for a protest”. The following day, the Al-Khanka District Prosecution ordered his release on bail. Tarek Hussein however is still detained, now in Ein Shams police station  under the pretext that 11 charges are held against him in separate cases. There are concerns that he is being mistreated in detention.

Tarek Hussein, also known as Tito, is a human rights defender and a lawyer working at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR). He is also a member of the Freedom for the Brave campaign, a civil society organisation working to advance the rights of detainees. Tarek Hussein’s younger brother Mahmoud was imprisoned between January 2014 and March 2016 for wearing a T-shirt displaying an anti-torture message.

On 17 June 2017, at dawn, about 15 members of the Central Security Force, both plainclothes and in uniform, stormed Tarek Hussein’s house in Cairo before arresting him and taking him to Khanka police station. His laptop and phone were confiscated. The police failed to present a warrant for the raid and the arrest. He was then brought before the Al-Khanka District Prosecution, where he was accused of “joining an illegal organization” and “calling for a protest”.

On 18 June 2017, the Al-Khanka District Prosecution ordered Tarek Hussein to be released on bail for 2000 EGP (about 100 euros), which was immediately paid. However, as of 23 June 2017, Tarek Hussein has yet to be released and is still detained in Ein Shams police station, in eastern Cairo. The police is claiming that the human rights defender was charged on 11 accounts in separate cases. The charges seem to be fabricated, as one of them claims that he was married in 1990 and stole from his “wife”, despite the fact that Tarek Hussein is only 24 years old. The other charges are related to people having similar names. 

Since his arrest, Tarek Hussein has been taken to several police stations. His lawyers have not been allowed to see him. There are concerns that his health is deteriorating after he was moved around in a police metal truck under considerable heat, which caused him to vomit blood. It has also been reported that he was sharing an overcrowded cell with 80 other prisoners, and was denied food and to change his clothes.

The arrest of Tarek Hussein comes after he defended detainees caught in a recent wave of arrests. The crackdown occurred following the Egyptian parliament’s decision to transfer two islands on the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia, despite court rulings against it.

Front Line Defenders condemns the arbitrary arrest and detention of human rights defender Tarek Hussein, which it believes is solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate work for human rights in Egypt, and calls for his immediate release.

Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Egypt to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally release Tarek Hussein, and drop all charges against him, as Front Line Defenders believes that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2. Ensure that the treatment of Tarek Hussein, while in detention, adheres to the conditions set out in the ‘Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment', adopted by UN General Assembly resolution 43/173 of 9 December 1988;

3. Carry out an immediate, thorough and impartial investigation into the allegations of ill-treatment of Tarek Hussein, with a view to publishing the results and bringing those responsible to justice in accordance with international standards;

4. Allow the family and lawyer of Tarek Hussein immediate and unfettered access to him;

5. Cease targeting all human rights defenders in Egypt and guarantee in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.