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Take action for Malek Adly

Status: Travel ban

Malek Adly

Nabeel Sadek
Public Prosecutor
Office of the Public Prosecutor
Supreme Court House, 1 “26 July” Road
Cairo, Egypt


+202 2 577 4716

Your Excellency,

On 2 November, Egyptian authorities issued a travel ban for human rights defender Mr Malek Adly at the Cairo International Airport, preventing him from boarding his flight to Paris.

Malek Adly is a renowned Egyptian human rights lawyer and director of the lawyers network at the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), which seeks to promote and mobilise social movements to spread a culture of human rights. He is also one of the founders of the Front for Defending Egypt's Protesters, a coalition of thirty-four human rights organisations and several lawyers, that documents violations carried out by police against peaceful protesters, and provides assistance to protesters and prisoners.

On the morning of 2 November, Malek Adly went to Cairo International Airport in order to travel to Paris. The human rights defender was given an exit stamp by an immigration officer at the airport. After his passport was stamped, however, a member of the Egyptian National Security interrogated him about the purpose of his travel, cancelled the exit stamp in his passport and informed him that he is under a travel ban. There was no explanation given as to the reasons for the travel ban.

On 25 August 2016, Malek Adly was released after 114 days in detention in Torah prison for charges related to a call to protest on 25 April 2016. While the charges remain pending, his release did not have restrictions on travels or other conditions attached. This call to protest condemned the recent Egyptian government’s decision to cede sovereignty of two Red Sea islands, administered by Egypt, to Saudi Arabia as well as human rights abuses and crimes committed by the Egyptian security forces. The human rights lawyer has been the target of judicial harassment and physical attacks by the Egyptian authorities since early March 2015 when he and roughly 100 other lawyers participated in an anti-torture protest in Cairo.

Travel bans have become common practice in the crackdown against human rights defenders in Egypt in the last year. Egyptian authorities have been increasing pressure on human rights defenders and journalists through arbitrary detentions, travel bans as well as freezing the personal and organisational bank accounts of human rights defenders.

I condemn the travel ban imposed on Malek Adly as I believe it to be in retaliation to his legitimate and peaceful human rights activities.

I urge the authorities in Egypt to:

1. Immediately and unconditionally remove the travel ban imposed against Malek Adly and all other human rights defenders facing travel restrictions in Egypt, as I believe that they are being restricted solely as a result of their legitimate and peaceful work in the defence of human rights;

2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Egypt are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions.