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Detention of Mahienour El-Masry and other human rights defenders

Status: 
Detained
About the situation

On 23 September 2019, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered 15 days of preventive detention for human rights defender Mahienour El-Masry.

On 22 September 2019, human rights defender Mahienour El-Masry was arrested by security forces outside of the State Prosecution Office in Cairo. Her place of detention remains unknown. Given the modalities of her arrest, it is believed that no arrest warrant was presented.

 

About Mahienour El-Masry

Mahienour El-MasryMahienour El-Masry is a human rights defender who works to promote judicial independence and prisoners' rights by organising peaceful protests, raising awareness using social media, and organising support for political prisoners in the form of solidarity events and bail fundraising.

24 September 2019
Mahienour El-Masry given 15 days of preventive detention

On 23 September 2019, the Supreme State Security Prosecution ordered 15 days of preventive detention for human rights defender Mahienour El-Masry. She is facing charges of "joining an illegal group", "publishing false news", and misuse of social media".

23 September 2019
Detention of Mahienour El-Masry and other human rights defenders

On 22 September 2019, human rights defender Mahienour El-Masry was arrested by security forces outside of the State Prosecution Office in Cairo. Her place of detention remains unknown. Given the modalities of her arrest, it is believed that no arrest warrant was presented.

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Mahienour El-Masry is a human rights defender who works to promote judicial independence and prisoners' rights by organising peaceful protests, raising awareness using social media, and organising support for political prisoners in the form of solidarity events and bail fundraising.

On 22 September 2019, Mahienour El-Masry was leaving the State Prosecution Office when she was taken by security officials in plain clothes and forced into a van. Family and lawyer visits are not possible as the location of her detention is unknown.

Mahienour El-Masry was previously harassed and detained by the Egyptian authorities. On 30 December 2016, she received a prison sentence of two years by the Alexandria Misdemeanours Court for “protesting without a permit”, which was overturned on appeal. In 2015, she was sentenced to one year and three months in prison in relation to a sit-in to protest against police brutality. In 2014, she was sentenced to two years for participating in demonstrations; the sentence was later reduced to six months.

The arbitrary detention of Mahienour El-Masry is in response to demonstrations which began on 20 September 2019 demanding the resignation of the Egyptian president Abdelfattah Al-Sisi. According to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, 373 persons were arbitrary detained in Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, Mahalla and Suez since the start of the demonstrations, including several human rights defenders. The Egyptian security forces responded to the demonstrations with tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition. The detained human rights defenders are facing several charges, including “joining illegal an organisation”, “demonstration without a permit”, and the “spread of false news”. Human rights defender Mohamed Ibrahim was detained on 21 September 2019 when he reported to the police station to comply with the precautionary measures of his release in connection to a separate case against him from 2018.

Front Line Defenders is concerned about the detention Mahienour El-Masry and other human rights defenders in connection to their peaceful and legitimate human rights work and the exercise of their right to freedom of peaceful assembly.