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New case against human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek

Status: 
Charged
About the situation

On 17 January 2021, human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek was transferred to Tora Prison hospital due to a deterioration in his health after being on hunger strike for more than 40 days.

On 3 December 2020, Egypt’s State Public Prosecutor ordered the detention of human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek for 15 days.

On 30 April 2020, the Public Prosecution in Cairo ordered that human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek be held in preventive detention for 15 days, pending investigations on charges of ‘joining an illegal group’, ‘defamation’ and ‘misuse of social media’.

On 10 March 2020, Addelrahman Tarek was granted release under precautionary measures, however he was never released from prison. He has been in arbitrary detention since September 2019.

On 10 September 2019, human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek was arbitrarily detained by Egyptian security forces during his daily judicial observation session at the Qasr Al-Neil police station in Cairo. He was ill-treated and tortured during his time in detention.

About Abdelrahman Tarek

Abdelrahman Tarek is a human rights defender, working with Al-Nedal Centre for Rights and Freedoms. His work includes defending the right to free speech and free expression in Egypt, and the rights of prisoners, especially in cases of enforced disappearances.

25 January 2021
Abdelrahman Tarek transferred to hospital

On 17 January 2021, human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek was transferred to Tora Prison hospital due to a deterioration in his health after being on hunger strike for more than 40 days. Abdelrahman Tarek started his hunger strike to protest against the Public Prosecutor including him in case No 1056 and ordering that his preventive detention be renewed. The human rights defender has been banned from having family visits since March 2019, and his family are deeply concerned for his well-being.

9 December 2020
New case against human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek

On 3 December 2020, Egypt’s State Public Prosecutor ordered the detention of human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek for 15 days. This comes after the human rights defender was accused of being involved in case No.1056 which was opened in 2020. The human rights defender was charged with 'joining an illegal organisation' and 'funding terrorism'. This is the third time he has faced the charge of ‘joining an illegal organisation’. On the same day, Abdelrahman Tarek started an open-ended hunger strike to protest against the Prosecutor General’s decision. The human rights defender has been in detention since 10 September 2019 despite the Criminal Court of Cairo ordering his release under precautionary measures in September 2020.

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Abdelrahman Tarek works with the Al-Nedal Centre for Rights and Freedoms and focuses on defending the right to free speech and freedom of expression in Egypt, and defending the rights of prisoners, especially in cases of enforced disappearances.

On 22 September 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo ordered the release of Abdelrahman Tarek under precautionary measures, however, the release order was never enforced. On 3 December 2020, after being held in arbitrary detention for more than 70 days, the State Public Prosecutor accused Abdelrahman Tarek of being involved in case No.1056 opened in 2020, which is investigating the alleged establishment and the funding of a terrorist organisation. The newly opened case does not specify the name of the 'illegal organisation' or provide the evidence used to open this case. As part of this case, the human rights defender is charged with 'joining an illegal organisation' and 'funding terrorism’. On 3 December, the State Public Prosecutor ordered 15 days’ preventive detention of Abdelrahman Tarek. He is only allowed limited access to his lawyer and no family visits have been permitted.

On the 10 September 2019, the human rights defender was detained by Egyptian security forces during his daily judicial observation session at the Qasr Al-Neil police station in Cairo. The Public Prosecutor accused him of joining groups deemed illegal by the state, and publishing false news on the political and economic situation in Egypt in order to disturb public order. According to his colleagues, Abdelrahman Tarek was the subject of ill-treatment and torture during his time in detention, which included the use of electric shocks. On 10 March 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo ordered his release under precautionary measures, however, the human rights defender was not released. On 30 April 2020, the Public Prosecutor in Cairo ordered his placement in preventive detention for 15 days, after he was again accused of ‘joining an illegal group’, and ‘defamation’ and ‘misuse of social media’.

Abdelrahman Tarek has been frequently harassed by the Egyptian authorities for his human rights work. In 2012 he was accused of organising a peaceful demonstration without a permit and subsequently placed in detention for five months. In January 2015 Abdelrahman Tarek was detained for four years on the same charge. According to his colleagues, the human rights defender was tortured and ill-treated during his detention, and was frequently placed in solitary confinement. The human rights defender was conditionally released in December 2018, on the condition that he report for 12 hours every evening to a local police station.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the new charges being brought against Abdelrahman Tarek as it believes that the human rights defender is being detained solely as a result of his peaceful and legitimate human rights activities.

30 April 2020
Abdelrahman Tarek under preventive detention

On 30 April 2020, the Public Prosecution in Cairo ordered that human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek be held in preventive detention for 15 days, pending investigations on charges of ‘joining an illegal group’, ‘defamation’ and ‘misuse of social media’.

On 10 March 2020, Addelrahman Tarek was granted release under precautionary measures, however he was never released from prison. He has been in arbitrary detention since September 2019.

12 March 2020
Abdelrahman Tarek released under precautionary measures

On 10 March 2020, the Criminal Court of Cairo ordered the release of human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek under precautionary measures. He is now required to report to a police station every few days. Abdelrahman Tarek had been arbitrarily detained since September 2019. While in detention, he was tortured and ill-treated.

13 September 2019
Arbitrary detention and torture of human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek

On 10 September 2019, human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek was arbitrarily detained by Egyptian security forces during his daily judicial observation session at the Qasr Al-Neil police station in Cairo. Abdelrahman Tarek was ill-treated and tortured during his time in detention.

Download the Urgent Appeal

Abdelrahman Tarek is a human rights defender, working with Al-Nedal Centre for Rights and Freedoms. His work includes defending the right to free speech and free expression in Egypt, and the rights of prisoners, especially in cases of forced disappearances.

Since December 2018 Abdelrahman Tarek has been under judicial observation and has been obliged to report to the Qasr Al-Neil police station every evening, spending 12 hours there from 6:30 pm until 6:30 am. On 10 September, while he was at the police station he was disappeared, and one day later he re-appeared at the Supreme State Security Prosecution office, which ordered his detention for 15 days pending further investigation. Since then he has been held at Al-Shoroq police station in Cairo. He will be transferred to Tora prison on 14 September 2019. Abdelrahman Tarek is accused of joining groups deemed illegal by the state, and publishing false news on the political and economic situation in Egypt in order to disturb public order. Following his detention Abdelrahman Tarek was subjected to electric shocks and has been denied family visits.

Abdelrahman Tarek has been frequently harassed, detained and ill-treated by the Egyptian authorities. In 2012 he was charged with organizing demonstrations without a permit, and spent five months in detention. In January 2015, he was detained for four years on the same charge; during his detention he was frequently tortured and subjected to ‘discipline’ where he was forced to spend seven days in solitary confinement. Abdelrahman Tarek was conditionally released in December 2018, but had to report for 12 hours every evening to a local police station. Abdelrahman Tarek continues to suffer from severe psychological effects as a result of his treatment by the Egyptian police.

Front Line Defenders is extremely concerned by the arbitrary detention, torture and ill- treatment of human rights defender Abdelrahman Tarek. Front Line Defenders believe that this arbitrary detention is solely motivated by Abdelrahman Tarek’s peaceful work in defending human rights in Egypt.