On 25 August 2020, the Fifth “Terrorism Circuit” of the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Bahey eldin Hassan, (featured above), a veteran human rights defender, to 15 years in prison on the basis of his critical tweets, 18 human rights organizations reported today. The conviction of Bahey eldin Hassan, director and co-founder of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), over the abusive charges of “publishing false news” and “insulting the judiciary” is a new low for the Egyptian judiciary. The ruling was issued in absentia as Mr Hassan has been living abroad, in self-exile, since 2014.
We, the undersigned organizations, strongly condemn Bahey eldin Hassan’s conviction and sentencing on trumped-up charges in reprisal for his legitimate human rights work, and urge the Egyptian authorities to quash the verdicts against Mr Hassan. We also call upon Egypt’s international partners to denounce the Egyptian authorities’ shameful pattern of reprisals against human rights defenders. We call upon the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, the Human Rights Council, and other relevant mechanisms to immediately take steps to address the ongoing targeting of human rights defenders in Egypt.
Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-violence Studies
Associazione Ricreativa Culturale Italiana (ARCI)
Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales
Cultura è Libertà
Egyptian Front for Human Rights
Egyptian Human Rights Forum
FIDH/Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
Front Line Defenders
Human Rights Watch
International Service for Human Rights
Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
Reporters Without Borders
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders