Haitham Mohammadein… a leftist activist defending all: from demonstrating to demand freedom to prison

Recalling Haitham Mohammadein standing amid dozens of workers in a conference held in the Journalists Syndicate, chanting: “striking is a legitimate right .. against hunger and poverty.” Another demonstration calling for the release of someone who got arrested and a third one defending “Tiran and Sanafir” islands. From social to workers to political demonstrations, Mohammadein hasn’t stopped for years even to take a breath.

An activist who defends workers’ rights, one of the 25th of January 2011 revolution activists, an opponent to the regime of former president Mohammed Morsi and he witnessed the 6th April 2008 uprising under the rule of ousted president Mohammed Hosni Mubarak.

Born in 1982, Haitham studied law, and he is the son Fawzi Mohammadein, a workers’ leader who participated in the Iron and Steel Factory workers’ strike in 1989, in addition to his role as a political and workers’ rights activist.

Mohammadein participated in launching what is called “The Revolution Route Front/ Revolutionaries” after the incidents of the 3rd of July 2013, as an attempt to create a third road, but the movement did not last long in its message because of the severely oppressive security circumstances.

Mohammadein continued to be one of the most prominent leaders of the Revolutionary Socialists movement, strongly present in the major political events, especially, in the case of the transfer of sovereignty over the two islands “Tiran and Sanafir” to Saudi Arabia, according to the maritime border demarcation agreement signed in April 2016. As he participated in founding what is known as “The popular campaign to defend the land”. He asserted frequently that Israel is the main beneficiary of such an agreement, adding that the existence of Saudi troops on the islands turns them into occupied territories.

This was not the first in which the security forces arrested Haitham Mohammadein, he was arrested on the 25th of January 2011 from a demonstration that began from Shubra district in Cairo, with a group of youth, they were released before ‘Friday of Anger’ on the 28th of January 2011.

He was also arrested because of his political stances, as the Military forces arrested him in a checkpoint in Suez in September 2013, while he was on his way to support The cement factory workers’ strike. He was detained in Ataka police station in Suez, and appeared the day after before the prosecution accused of “Assaulting a military officer on duty and he was released 48 hours later.

It seems that his frank rejection of the ousting of former president Mohammed Morsi on the 3rd of July 2013, considering what happened as a military coup, made him an enemy in the eyes of the Egyptian authorities in several ways. In January 2015, the committee of Muslim Brotherhood funds inventory, under the supervision of the Ministry of Justice, decided to freeze the assets of 112 persons, among them two Revolutionary Socialists’ members: Haitham Mohammadein and Hesham Abdul Rassoul, and some young people who belonged to different political streams. The decree included the freezing of all real estate, liquid, movable, bank accounts, deposits, safe deposit boxes and savings registered under their names in all banks.

Mohammadein commented on this decision saying: “the anchor who read the news about freezing my assets said: ‘Haitham Mohammadein doesn’t have 5 EGP in his pocket.. What are you going to do about him?’What a scandal!! they are going to freeze my non-existing funds”.

Security forces arrested him in April 2016, against the backdrop of protesting against the transfer of sovereignty over the two islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia. The prosecution charged him with inciting to demonstrate and joining a terrorist group, but he was subsequently released.

Mohammadein participated with the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information in issuing a guidebook for detainees called Make Yourself at Prison”. The guidebook was presented by media figure Yousri Fouda. It consists of four parts about the various circumstances that detainees undergo: stopping and arrest, investigations inside police stations and the public prosecution, the nature of detention rooms in police stations and how to deal with it, and finally prisons and how to deal with it during pretrial detention or after being handed down a freedom-depriving conviction, and the needs of prisoners, along with general advice, in addition to two testimonies from former prisoners of conscience.

On Friday, May 18, 2018, at dawn, security forces arrested lawyer and political activist Haitham Mohammadein from his house in Al Saf city, in Giza, and took him to an unknown location.

The Next day he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, he was accused of participating with a group founded contrary to the provisions of the law aiming to prevent state institutions from performing their duty, gathering in a way that violates security and public peace and resisting the authorities.

The Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to detain him for 15 days pending investigations into “protesting against the increase of the underground tickets’ prices” and he was added to case no. 718 of 2018 along with another twenty defendants.