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Arrest of Mohamed El-Baqer

Status: 
Detained
About the situation

On 5 May 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo renewed the detention of human rights defenders Mohamed El-Baqer, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, Mohamed Ibrahim, and woman human rights defender Mahienour El-Masry for an additional 45 days.

On 20 February 2020, the Criminal Court of Tora accepted the Public Prosecution's appeal against the release of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer and renewed his detention for an additional 45 days, without providing any justification. This decision came after the Court ordered his release on 18 February.

On 23 October 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution renewed the preventive detention of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer for an additional 15 days.

On 9 October 2019, the Supreme Public Persecution in Cairo renewed the preventive detention of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer.

On 30 September 2019, the Supreme Public Persecution of Cairo ordered the 15 day preventive detention of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer. He was transferred on 1 October 2019 to Tora prison (Al-Aqrab prison which is a maximum security prison and is notorious for its inhumane conditions.

On 29 September 2019, Egyptian police arrested human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer at the State Security Prosecution premises in Cairo. His current place of detention is unknown. Several arrests of human rights defenders occurred over the last week in the context of demonstrations demanding the resignation of the Egyptian president Abdelfattah Al-Sisi.

About Mohamed El-Baqer

mohamed_el-baqer.jpgMohamed El-Baqer is a lawyer and human rights defender in Egypt. He is the director of the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms, which provides legal aid for political detainees and prisoners of conscience, as well as promoting civil and the political rights in Egypt.

7 May 2020
Detention sentence of HRDs renewed in absentia

On 5 May 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo renewed the detention of human rights defenders Mohamed El-Baqer, Ibrahim Ezz El-Din, Mohamed Ibrahim, and woman human rights defender Mahienour El-Masry for an additional 45 days.

The renewal session was held in absentia, without the human rights defenders or their lawyers present. The human rights defenders are being held in prison in inhumane conditions, placing them them at high risk in the context of COVID-19.

The decision to hold the renewal hearing without the presence, even by video link, of the human rights defenders or their lawyers due to COVID-19 restrictions is clearly an attempt to use such restrictions as a way to deny human rights defenders due process.

20 February 2020
Mohamed El-Baqer's preventive detention renewed

On 20 February 2020, the Criminal Court of Tora accepted the Public Prosecution's appeal against the release of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer and renewed his detention for an additional 45 days, without providing any justification. This decision came after the Court ordered his release on 18 February.

The human rights defender was arrested at the State Prosecution on 29 September 2019, when he was attending the interrogation of human rights defender Alaa Abdel Fattah. He is being held at Tora prison and is not allowed to read, send or receive correspondence, or to leave his cell during prison recreation time.

24 October 2019
Mohamed El-Baqer's preventive detention renewed

On 23 October 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution renewed the preventive detention of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer for an additional 15 days.

11 October 2019
Inhumane detention conditions for Mohamed El-Baqer

On 9 October 2019, the Supreme Public Persecution in Cairo renewed the preventive detention of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer. Since his arrest on 29 September 2019, Mohamed El-Baqer has been facing inhumane conditions at Tora prison, the maximum security prison where he is being held. In addition to being denied access to clean water, personal hygiene items and shower facilities, he must also remain in his cell during prison recreation time, where he receives meals far below the standard of those served at the prison canteen. Most urgent of Mohamed El-Baqer’s requests is to receive medical attention for the back injuries he has sustained from being forced to sleep on the floor of the cell. He continues to be denied any such assistance.

 

30 September 2019
Arrest of Mohamed El-Baqer and other HRDs

On 29 September 2019, Egyptian police arrested human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer at the State Security Prosecution premises in Cairo. His current place of detention is unknown. Several arrests of human rights defenders occurred over the last week in the context of demonstrations demanding the resignation of the Egyptian president Abdelfattah Al-Sisi.

Mohamed El-Baqer is a lawyer and human rights defender in Egypt. He is the director of the Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms, which provides legal aid for political detainees and prisoners of conscience, as well as promoting civil and the political rights in Egypt.

On 29 September 2019, Mohamed El-Baqer was arrested at the State Prosecution, when he was attending the interrogation of human rights defender Alaa Abdel Fattah. Several police officers surrounded and then arrested him, after which he was taken to an undisclosed location. Family and lawyer visits are not being allowed. He is facing charges of “joining and financing a terrorist organisation”, “defamation”, and “using social media for illegal activities”.

This is not the first time Mohamed El-Baqer is being harassed by the Egyptian authorities. Last week, there was an attempt to arrest him at the State Security Prosecution premises while he was accompanying one of his clients. In January 2014, Mohamed El-Baqer was arrested for several months on charges of “demonstrating without a permit”.

The Egyptian Commission of Rights and Freedoms documented more than 2200 arrests in connection with the anti-regime demonstrations which commenced on 20 September 2019. The mass arrests include human rights defenders Sahar Ali, Mahienour El-Masry, and Asmaa Dabees.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the ongoing crackdown on anti-government demonstrations in Egypt. Mohamed El-Baqer and other human rights defenders have been arrested as a direct result. These arrests are believed to be solely motivated by the human rights defenders’ peaceful and legitimate work defending human rights in Egypt.