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Torture and ongoing detention of woman human rights defender Esraa Abdel Fattah

Status: 
Detained
About the situation

On 9 December 2019, Esraa Abdel Fattah resumed her hunger strike, which she had originally started on 12 October and suspended on 22 November 2019.

On 5 November 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution renewed the preventive detention of woman human rights defender Esraa Abdel Fattah for fifteen additional days.

October 21st: Esraa Abdel Fattah’s health is in critical condition, after spending over a week on hunger strike. She began the hunger strike on 13 October 2019, one day after her arrest.

On 13 October 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution of Egypt ordered the fifteen day preventive detention of woman human rights defender and journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah. On the day of her arrest, 12 October 2019, she was beaten and tortured, and has begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest.

About Esraa Abdel Fattah

Esraa Abdel FattahEsraa Abdel Fattah is a woman human rights defender and journalist at al-Tahrir newspaper. She was project manager at the Egyptian Democratic Academy, a non-governmental organization that promotes the use of new media tools to foster democracy and human rights. Esraa Abdel Fattah is known for her efforts to promote workers' rights and democracy; she began her human rights work in 2008, when she co-founded the April 6 Movement.

11 December 2019
Esraa Abdel Fattah Renews Hunger Strike

On 9 December 2019, woman human rights defender Esraa Abdel Fattah resumed her hunger strike, which she had originally started on 12 October 2019. She had suspended it on 22 November 2019 because of her deteriorating health condition. Esraa Abdel Fattah’s hunger strike began as a protest against the torture she faced while in prison, and its resumption was triggered by the decision of the Supreme Public Prosecution in Cairo, on 8 December 2019, to renew her preventive detention for an additional 15 days.

6 November 2019
Esraa Abdel Fattah’s preventive detention renewed

On 5 November 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution renewed the preventive detention of woman human rights defender Esraa Abdel Fattah for fifteen additional days.

Esraa Abdel Fattah’s health is in critical health condition after more than three weeks on a hunger strike. She began shortly after her arrest on 12 October 2019 in protest against the ill-treatment and the physical abuse she was subjected to.

21 October 2019
Esraa Abdel Fattah’s health worsens

Esraa Abdel Fattah’s health is in critical condition, after spending over a week on hunger strike. She began the hunger strike on 13 October 2019, one day after her arrest. On 21 October 2019, her lawyer requested she be transfered to a hospital, however the Public Prosecution refused the request.

15 October 2019
Torture and ongoing detention of woman human rights defender Esraa Abdel Fattah

On 13 October 2019, the Supreme Public Prosecution of Egypt ordered the fifteen day preventive detention of woman human rights defender and journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah. On the day of her arrest, 12 October 2019, she was beaten and tortured, and has begun an open-ended hunger strike in protest.

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Esraa Abdel Fattah is a woman human rights defender and journalist at al-Tahrir newspaper. She was project manager at the Egyptian Democratic Academy, a non-governmental organization that promotes the use of new media tools to foster democracy and human rights. Esraa Abdel Fattah is known for her efforts to promote workers' rights and democracy; she began her human rights work in 2008, when she co-founded the April 6 Movement.

On 12 October around 19:30, Egyptian security forces in plain clothes stopped Esraa Abdel Fattah’s car and arrested her. Following her detention for 24 hours in an unknown location, Esraa Abdel Fattah appeared at the Supreme Public Persecution on 13 October 2019, which ordered her preventive detention for 15 days. The human rights defender is facing charges of “joining an illegal organisation”, “defamation and the spread of false news” and “misuse of social media”.

Esraa Abdel Fattah was tortured while in police custody. Her lawyer has stated that during her 24 hour interrogation she was blindfolded, handcuffed and severely beaten. She was forced to give up the password to her phone or be subjected to electric shocks and was further physically attacked by a police officer once she complied. Despite suffering from bodily bruising, Esraa Abdel Fattah has been denied medical assistance. She is being detained at a local police station in Cairo where family and lawyer visits have been banned. She will be transferred to Al-Qanateer women’s prison on 15 October 2019.

Esraa Abdel Fattah has been frequently harassed and detained by the Egyptian authorities. She has been under a travel ban since January 2015 and was repeatedly summoned and interrogated in connection with case 173/2011, otherwise known as the “foreign funding” case.

Front Line Defenders is deeply concerned about the continued detention and judicial harassment of human rights defenders in Egypt. Front Line Defenders believes that the detention and torture of Esraa Abdel Fattah was solely motivated by her peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights.