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Detention of human rights defender Ramy Kamel

Status: 
Detained
About the situation

On 17 January 2021, the Criminal Court of Cairo renewed the detention of human rights defender Ramy Kamel for an additional 45 days.

On 27 February 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo rejected the appeal of human rights defender Ramy Kamel and renewed his detention for an additional 15 days. The human rights defender has been detained since 23 November 2019.

On 2 December 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution in Cairo ordered the preventive detention of human rights defender Ramy Kamel. He is facing charges of “funding a terrorist organisation”, “defamation” and “misuse of social media”.

About Ramy Kamil

Ramy KamilRamy Kamil is a human rights defender belonging to the Coptic religious minority in Egypt whose work concentrates primarily on defending the right to freedom of religion. He is one of the founders of the Maspero Youth Union, which works towards achieving justice for and ending the discrimination against Copts. Ramy Kamil also works on documenting human rights violations against his religious community in Upper Egypt which has seen church burnings and the kidnapping of female minors.

20 January 2021
Human rights defender Ramy Kamel health deteriorating

On 17 January 2021, the Criminal Court of Cairo renewed the detention of human rights defender Ramy Kamel for an additional 45 days. This comes after the serious deterioration of the human rights defender’s health due to a three month ban on access to his medications by the Tora prison administration.

Ramy Kamel is a human rights defender and member of the Coptic ethnoreligious minority in Egypt, whose work concentrates primarily on defending the right to freedom of religion. He is one of the founders of the Maspero Youth Union, which works towards achieving justice for and ending the discrimination against Copts. Ramy Kamel also works on documenting human rights violations against his religious community in Upper Egypt, who have been confronted with church burnings and the kidnapping of female minors by radical groups.

On 17 January 2021, the Criminal Court of Cairo renewed the detention of Ramy Kamel for an additional 45 days. Since August 2020, the human rights defender had been denied his right to healthcare after the Tora prison administration banned the entry of his medication for three months. In an attempt to justify this decision, the prison administration stated that 'the prison doctor is on leave for three months'. It was only by mid December 2020 when Ramy Kamel was given access to his medication once again. As a result, the human rights defender’s health has deteriorated significantly. Ramy Kamel suffers from lung sensitivity and is particularly at risk with the spread of COVID-19.

Since 23 November 2019, Ramy Kamel has been in detention in Tora prison, which is known for its ill-treatment of prisoners. He is currently being detained in solitary confinement. The human rights defender is facing the charges of “funding a terrorist organisation”, “defamation” and “misuse of social media”. During the COVID-19 outbreak his detention was frequently renewed without his presence or the presence of his lawyer.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned regarding the continued detention and health deterioration of human rights defender Ramy Kamel. Front Line Defenders believes he is being solely detained in relation to his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.

27 February 2020
Criminal Court of Cairo rejects appeal of Ramy Kamel

On 27 February 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo rejected the appeal of human rights defender Ramy Kamel and renewed his detention for an additional 15 days. The human rights defender has been detained since 23 November 2019.

3 December 2019
Detention of human rights defender Ramy Kamel

On 2 December 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution in Cairo ordered the preventive detention of human rights defender Ramy Kamel. He is facing charges of “funding a terrorist organisation”, “defamation” and “misuse of social media”.

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Ramy Kamil belongs to the Coptic religious minority in Egypt and his work concentrates primarily on defending the right to freedom of religion. He is one of the founders of the Maspero Youth Union, which works towards achieving justice for and ending the discrimination against Copts. Ramy Kamil also works on documenting human rights violations against his religious community in Upper Egypt which has seen church burnings and the kidnapping of female minors.

On 23 November 2019, at around 1:45am, State Security agents in plain clothes raided Ramy Kamel’s house and arrested him. His laptop and phones were confiscated by the security agents, and damage was caused to the human rights defender’s property. Ramy Kamel was taken to an unknown location for more than 24 hours. He appeared on 24 November 2019, at the State Public Prosecution, and was transferred the same day to Tora prison.

At Tora prison, Ramy Kamel continues to be refused family visits, and has spent several days under interrogation, with restricted access to his lawyer. Ramy Kamil is facing charges of joining and “funding a terrorist organisation”, “defamation” and “misuse of social media”. On 2 December 2019, he was placed under preventive detention by the Supreme Public Prosecution in Cairo.

Ramy Kamel has been frequently harassed by the Egyptian authorities. Two weeks before his arrest he was called by the State Security Services and questioned about his human rights work.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the ongoing detention and harassment of human rights defenders in Egypt and believes that the detention of Ramy Kamel is solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.