Cairo – 23 December, 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that prisoner of conscience journalist Hisham Jaafar began his second year of being deprived of family visits, and deprived of implementing the law after having exceeded the two-year determined limit of pretrial detention, as his pretrial detention has reached three years and two months, which led the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) to consider him to be arbitrarily detained, call for his release and adequate compensation, and to consider his case among others as one that may amount to constituting a crime against humanity.

Since the arrest of prisoner of conscience Hisham Jaafar on October 20, 2015, pending case No. 720 of 2015 Supreme State Security, his pretrial detention was being renewed, without referring him to trial if the charges against him were serious, he was held at the infamous maximum security prison “al-Aqrab” (scorpion) deprived of medical care, instead of releasing him for having exceeded the maximum limit on pretrial detention, the prison administration of the Ministry of the Interior denied him access to family visits since 21 December 2017. His case has become a blatant example of the waste of the law and the constitution, and the use of pretrial detention as a severe punishment, and therefore his detention becomes closer to a crime against humanity, according to the resolution issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, published on December 3, 2018.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said: “The case of Hisham Jaafar among many others is pulling Egypt down to the bottom of the black list of countries that violate human rights and the rule of law. Egypt’s position will not improve by establishing so-called human rights entities and committees, but will improve by the respect for human rights, respect for the rule of law, and the first step in this direction is the release of prisoners of conscience and those held in arbitrary detention, and on top of them Hisham Jaafar. “