Detention and prosecution of Haytham Mohamadeen
On 19 November 2018, the Criminal Court of Cairo, along with the Supreme State Security Emergency Court, decided to renew the precautionary measures for human rights defender Haytham Mohamadeen for 45 days. The precautionary measures of Haytham Mohamadeen and nine other defendants in the state security case No. 718/2018 entail their attendance at their local police station twice a week.
On 29 October 2018, Haytham Mohamadeen was released, 18 days after the Criminal Chamber of the Fifth Compound Courts Complex ruled in favour of the human rights defender.
Haytham Mohamadeen is a lawyer and a labour rights defender, who offers pro-bono legal aid to workers. He is a member of El-Naddim Centre for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, an Egyptian NGO dedicated to combating torture and providing medical and legal aid in support of victims of human rights' abuses.
UPDATE: On 19 November 2018, the Criminal Court of Cairo, along with the Supreme State Security Emergency Court, decided to renew the precautionary measures for human rights defender Haytham Mohamadeen for 45 days. The precautionary measures of Haytham Mohamadeen and nine other defendants in the state security case No. 718/2018 entail their attendance at their local police station twice a week.
On 29 October 2018, Haytham Mohamadeen was released, 18 days after the Criminal Chamber of the Fifth Compound Courts Complex ruled in favour of the human rights defender. He was supposed to be released on 10 October 2018, when the appeal of the State Security Prosecution to keep him on remand was rejected. Instead of executing the Court’s decision to release Haytham Mohamadeen immediately, the State Security Prosecution disappeared him from 10 October 2018 until 29 October 2018. During this time, neither his family nor his lawyer were informed of the human rights defenders' whereabouts.
This is only one example of how the State Security Prosecution systematically bypasses judiciary rulings in Egypt; several human rights defenders who were released by court rulings have been disappeared from prisons.
UPDATE: Following the order for his release, the whereabouts of Haytham Mohamadeen have been unknown for two weeks.
On 10 October 2018 the Criminal Chamber of the Fifth Compound Courts Complex ruled in favour of labour rights defender haytham Mohamadeen and ordered his conditional release. The Criminal Chamber rejected an appeal issued by the Supreme State Security prosecution in response to the previous decision to release the human rights defender.
The Giza Criminal Court ruled earlier this year to release Haytham Mohamadeen and three other defendants in the case on precautionary measures. Haytham Mohamadeen was arrested on 15 May 2018 for “incitement” and accused of participation in recent mass demonstrations and of violence in subway stations. On 19 May 2018, the Supreme State Security prosecutor ordered a 15-day detention period pending an investigation, but the human rights defender remained in prison until his release on 10 October 2018.
On 19 May, Supreme State Security prosecutor ordered the detention of labour rights defender Haytham Mohamadeen to 15 days pending investigation on charges of "aiding a terrorist organisation" and "calling for illegal protests".
On the night of the 15 May, members of the police and National Security Agency arrested Haytham Mohamadeen at his home in El Saf in Giza Governorate. The human rights defender was detained in an unknown location until he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution in New Cairo's Tagammu El-Khamis District on 19 May. The prosecutor ordered a 15-day detention period pending an investigation on charges of "aiding a terrorist organisation to achieve its goals" and "calling for illegal protests".
Although the human rights defender did not take part in the protests over the rise in metro fares on 12 May, he is being charged under State Security Case no.718/2018, which involves 20 individuals who are also accused of participating in these protests. Haytham Mohamadeen was transferred to the Central Security Forces Camp "Kilo 10.5", which is located on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road.
Haytham Mohamadeen was previously arrested in April 2016 and remained in detention until October 2016 on charges of "joining a banned group, participating in an illegal protest and plotting the overthrow of the ruling government".
Front Line Defenders is seriously concerned about the detention of human rights defender Haytham Mohamadeen and is worried about his safety and physical well being. Front Line Defenders believes that his arrest and ongoing detention are acts of retaliation for his work on labour rights issues and trade unionist rights.
Front Line Defenders urges the authorities in Egypt to:
1. Immediately and unconditionally release Haytham Mohamadeen, as Front Line Defenders believes that he is being held solely as a result of his legitimate and peaceful human rights work;
2. Ensure that Haytham Mohamadeen's treatment, 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;
4. Take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of Haytham Mohamadeen;
5. Cease targeting all human rights defenders including labour rights defenders in Egypt in all circumstances, so that they are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.