Introduction

Does pretrial detention essential for investigations? 

A question that is always asked specially in political and opinion cases. It is worth mentioning that pretrial detention is “not preferred and it should be used only for critical cases”, a it is a kind of freedom deprivation against a defendant, pending investigations. This highlights the  contradiction between respecting private freedom and security and the State’s right in imposing punishment. It is known that the basic value states that punishments should not be imposed without fair trial and after a clear conviction. Nevertheless, in political cases, particularly those which are considered by the State Security Prosecution, the cases are usually terminate with a decision of release with precautionary measures or a bail after  spending a time in the prison. Afterwards, a decision of release is issued without considerations of tangible impacts of this detention whether on the moral or material level.

Not to mention that the defendant’s name will be always linked to this case for years without taking and legal procedures, making this case an ongoing threat against the defendant.

 

First: Social Impact

1- Impact on Children:

International conventions and covenants, as well as the Constitution and law, have recognized that the natural place of a child  is at home under the care of his/her  parents, but without these considerations, children in penal institutions and police stations can be held in preventive detention pending an investigation into a case of State security. It is unbelievable that a child who has not been 18 years of age has a plan to destroy the state, has a plan to overthrow the regime, or has terrorist ideas to promote on social media. It is disheartening to note that the papers of many cases may contain only one or two reasons, either that the child has been found of the crime site or the he republish a post to social media. Examples of these children include the vast numbers arrested in the case known as the September 20, 2019, and the case for the same events this year 2020.

 

2- Impact on Students

It threatens the educational path of students as they exist in an inconvenient circumstances for studying.

It also destroys his/her professional future specially after imposing what is so called “security investigating” as a part of work papers, it is imposed by reality though it is not uttered by law.

Among these cases:

 

Ahmed Eid Mohamed Hamed:

A student at the Faculty of Law, Halwan University, who lives in Al-Monib, one day while he was going to the university, he went to Al-Monib Metro Station, he bought a ticket as he paid 100 pounds and he received the ticket and the remained money, while counting the money he found a five-pound written on it (you are not alone). When one of the station’s security officers observed him, he escorted him to the Security Bureau and from that moment he disappeared for 26 days until he appeared at the end of March 2019 and is still in detention without evidence of any offense. The student, Ahmed Eid, is a A student in his first three years of study at the Faculty of Law, which made him dream of a bright future, but this did not protect him from national security and became an indefinite prisoner. He was prevented from performing his examination. When this student returns to his normal life, ending his studies with high grades, can he join a work that agrees with this superiority, or will the file of this case force him to choose.

In this case, the pretrial detention caused the following:

First, this student was delayed in his educational life because of deprivation of examinations in violation of the law.

Second, the future of this student has collapsed by denying him access to a number of jobs that are compatible with his scientific level.

Change his behavior as a result of his feeling of injustice, as well as mixing him with both those who are convicted of criminal offenses and extremists inside prisons.

 

3- Impact on Parents

The best interest of the child or the pre-trial detention of the parents?

The decision of the investigative authority, which may be issued to detain a couple in custody or to detain one of them, who is guarding a child, cannot be just a decision issued in the interest of the investigation, nor a non-judicial punishment for this incubator, but a disaster that negatively affects the life of their children. The child is separated from his or her incubator in implementation of the decision of the investigating authority, despite all the powers authorities that the prosecution has to achieve a balance between the interests of the child and the primary investigation, that the principle of the best interest of the child is derived from article III of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is signed and ratified by the Arab Republic of Egypt, which is part of Egyptian legislation, and which affirms that the interests of the child are a priority in all circumstances, whatever the interests of the other parties.

 

  • Case 488 of 2019 listed the investigation of the Supreme State Security Prosecution 
  • The accused journalists Solfa Magdi and her husband Hossam Al-Sayyad

On the ground, a child who does not know the meaning of the term of imprisonment, faces at the most needed time the fate of the missing person, namely the child Khaled Hossam, whose parents are facing preventive detention for about a year on the background of false accusations.

Despite the approval of the Egyptian legislator of the children’s law, that if a couple were sentenced to a penalty of deprivation of liberty, the execution of the sentence on one of them would be postponed until the end of the execution of the other, to take into account the life of their child. However, pre-trial detention has become a harsher punishment for the life of a child than a penalty that may be imposed by law on a convicted couple under a fair court order.

 

  • Case 1356 of 2019 listed the investigation of the Supreme State Security Prosecution. The accused is the human rights activist Alaa Abd Al-Fattah

Who was arrested during the execution of the term of police surveillance, six months after he resuming his again after spending five years inside the prison in execution of a sentence issued in a case known as (Shura Council events) and in an attempt by Alaa to get closer to his son who was absent for five years. However, the National Security forces arrested Alaa Abd al-Fattah, to find himself before the Supreme State Security Prosecution, facing charges of involvement with a terrorist group to achieve its purposes and spreading false news that would dishonor public opinion and misuse social media, without having legal evidence on these accusations.

Alaa Abd Al-Fattah is approaching a year of pre-trial detention, unable to see his only son, unable to work on spending this child, who is not more than six years old. In addition, the activist Alaa Abd al-Fattah’s family was subjected to several violations during their attempts to get some news from Alaa. To the extent that the security forces prevented his family from just receiving a letter  from Alaa to reassure his family and son or to deliver a letter to Alaa to reassure him about his son, who is in great need of his presence beside him.

The family of Alaa faced, in order to deliver or receive those letters, several violations of the security services in which they were subjected to verbal and physical abuse, ended with the arrest of his sister and now she faces the same fate as no one knows when it will end.

This is apart from imprisoning mothers of toddlers and babies and is an example:

Marwa Arafa:

On April 21, 2020, the National Security forces stormed into the house of the translator Marwa Arafa, taking her to an unknown place. Marwa Arafa remained forcibly hidden in an unknown place for two weeks. Afterwards she appeared in the SSSC, facing charges of joining and financing a terrorist group. A decision of preventive detention for 15 days was issued.

Marwa has a baby girl who has not yet completed her second year, and she has distanced herself from her public affairs once she knew her pregnancy, closing her Facebook profile for months, dedicating her time to her daughter and her work a freelance translator.

 

In addition to other models, children under age have been denied the care of mothers who need it unjustly, such as Abir Al Safti

 

‘Abir al-Safti was arrested twice, the first in the case known as the “the feast detainees” in 2018, while her daughter was four years old, then released with precautionary measures. The second time, security forces arrested ‘Abir al-Safti on April 22, 2019, the third day of the referendum on constitutional amendment, while traveling from Cairo to Kafr al-Dawar, where precautionary measures are based on an old case, ‘Metro Detainees’.

It is worth mentioning that Abir has disappeared forcibly after her detention for a week, then she appeared in the state security prosecution, which decided to detain her for 15 days pending investigations into a new case related to the referendum on the constitutional amendments held in April 2019. Abir al-Safty, from her pre-trial detention, allegedly tortured and harassed while in detention, sent a letter to her child on her birthday, who came behind bars. “Your 6th birthday, happy birthday, I pray that you are happy, I am so proud of you, I am still looking forward and ask God to ensure you a better future in our homeland,” said Abir in the letter, which was included in a drawing of the mother weeping behind bars, and a child who was weeping too. “your next birthday will come with you in a country that loves us and I will not be the same like today behind the prison bars,” she said. “Radwa, you are the gift of God, may Lord preserve you and return me back to you my angel.”

 

Abir attempted to commit suicide out of depression because she is separated from her child. In the same month, March 2020, she was released.

 

4- The impact of the pre-trial detention of a family member on the future of the whole family

 

Case 1338 of 2019 listed the investigation of the Supreme State Security Prosecution The citizen Nasr Al Sayed Mustafa is accused

A citizen who only hopes to realize his simple dreams, came from Dakahlia governorate to Cairo one day after September 2019 events with his private car to buy some computer spare parts from a well-known commercial center in Cairo, and after he put his car in the garage of “Tahrir Square” and on his way to the commercial center on foot, he was stopped by an officer in a civil uniform who asked him why he was there and asked him to inspect his mobile phone. When he was refused as this demand violates law and constitution, at once the officer took him to a police car, then he disappeared for several days before a public prosecutor appears to be questioned in the above-mentioned case, and after he spent more than two months in pre-trial detention on that case, denying him access to his family, he was released to face a new fate in his life.

His old mother was confined to intensive care, suffering from a psychological collapse, on grief over what happened to her son.

Second, his fiancee, to whom he was about to get married, refused even to accept meeting him as if he is a criminal.

Third, his employer, who maintained computers, refused to return him to work.

Fourth, when he went to recover his car from the garage, the owner of the garage asked him to pay nine thousand pounds as a result of the parking of the car in the garage for all this time during his detention period.

 

Hossam Moanes case:

On Tuesday, June 25, security forces arrested journalist Hossam Moanes, from his home in Cairo, after breaking into the house and intimidating his wife and children. He was taken to an unknown destination and appeared hours later in the SSSC pending the case 930 of 2019, which is known as the “prisoners of hope” . A 15-day pre-trial detention order was issued. Egyptian Interior Ministry statement said that those arrested planned through their companies to “finance acts of violence against state institutions” and intensify “inflammatory” media calls through social media and overseas satellite channels. The statement accused a group including Hossam Moanes, a journalist and a former official spokesman of the popular movement and one of its founders, Ziad Al-Aleimi, the former parliament member, and journalist Hisham Fouad, member of revolutionary socialists movement, and businessman Omar Al-Sheneti. Hossam Moanies, is a father of two children: Magd 12 years, and Fayrouz 10 years.

As mentioned above, the two children witnessed the arrest of their father, and continued to visit him in prison until the authorities prevented visits to detainees because of the epidemic.

Second: Economic Impacts 

1-Arresting the only financial supporter of a family

Here we talk about a number of cases, as an example: a person appointed in a public or private job, and here the law obliges the employer to perform half of the worker’s salary. However, we are in conflict with a number of actions that may lead to total destruction of the detainee’s work and family.

An example of this is the day-to-day worker (hunter-farmer-workshop workers – bakery workers) and others. If we imagine the life of this worker married to a housewife with two children, what is the fate of this unemployed wife who has no income other than that of her husband who is in pre-trial detention? What is the fate of the two children who have been with no financial support for an indefinite period of time? and it is known that such circumstances may lead to the complete loss of the job, which depends entirely on the worker’s presence at his place of work and if he is absent from it, will only find that another employee is replacing him. Not only has he lost his job but may cause his reputation to worsen, and here we can look at the life of this person who, because of this detention, lost his work, lost his reputation and his family lost him as the only source of livelihood.

Elsewhere, there are some jobs that depend on good reputation such as a lawyer. His detention may lead to loss of work to be done by his current clients, for which he may cause grave losses and for the loss of the interests of his clients. Also how much time this lawyer needs to return to his work.

2- Impact of pre-trial detention on daily and seasonal employment

Such examples include day laborers, or merchants with small and micro-enterprises, if we were to assume that there was a construction worker or a bakery, or a coffee shop or restaurant worker, if he was held in pre-trial detention, leaving a wife (housewife) and one child, there is nothing in the law that protects the family’s livelihood, who often have no financial savings to guarantee them the future in such circumstances where they lose the supporter of the family. The disaster lies not only in the research behind the source of income for food and the performance of financial commitments such as paying the bill of water, electricity and natural gas, and the study expenses of this child, but also in the most dangerous way that this worker is renting his home. This threatens the future of that family in keeping their lives in a shelter.

 

3- Impact of pre-trial detention on the financial obligations of the detainee

Financial obligations are numerous, including what is periodically involved in a person’s normal life, such as school expenses, rent, food, clothing, etc., including what is incidental to a person’s normal life, such as a commitment to payment or a commitment to a person’s physical condition, and in any case, not only the detainee’s freedom is violated contrary to what is guaranteed by the Constitution and the law, but also he has to carry a burden of financial debts that he has failed to abide by as a result of his pre-trial detention, which may eventually lead to a new case following his release from pre-trial detention, or to face new debts that never existed before, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the family of the detainee in pre-trial detention faces a great deal of trouble providing a financial resource to cover back-up visits to the detainee. In addition to providing white uniforms to comply with the prison regulations, all these costs to the detainee were not for pleasure or life difficulties, but for the detainee to be held in custody again as a result of the pre-trial detention.

 

Conclusion

Pre-trial detention, which is no longer a “minimal” precaution but has shifted in many cases, particularly of a political nature, from a precautionary measure taken by Public Prosecutor’s Office to a penalty in itself, which has potentially devastating effects.

This requires the Public Prosecutor, with his broad powers, to set more precise and less time-sensitive controls and stringent standards that reduce resorting to it and that it be in a narrower, more risk-taking position.

It is also unacceptable that the prosecution’s justification for requesting the extension of pre-trial detention should be to maintain the conduct of investigations without justifying the damage expected to occur in the event of the release of the accused, or that the public prosecution should continue to examine the accused’s papers. As which, if the prosecution needs time, this should not be at the expense of the freedom of a person who is likely to be innocent, since the prosecution does not have strong evidence of the charge, the prosecution should not tie a citizen’s freedom to a report of investigation.

The effects of unjust imprisonment and torture against opponents of any regime have serious consequences. Freedom of opinion and expression is neither an unnecessary advantage, nor a choice, but a right and a necessity not only to serve society and all its members, but also to serve the regime if it wishes to continue without the growing hatred against it by innocent people.

The detention of mothers and fathers simply for expressing their opinions peacefully, whether by expressing on social media pages, by staging a sit-in and peaceful demonstration, or by doing their work as journalists or translators wishing to communicate the facts to the public, may cause psychological and nervous shocks that negatively affect children, mothers and fathers. It creates resentment and muffled anger.

Blaming the victim and accusing parents of being responsible for their children’s crisis because they expressed their opinions is a double crime committed by the totalitarian regime against children and their families, generating citizens who are psychologically stressed, which may negatively affect society and the coming generations entrusted with building the country. This course only transplants unneeded results.


for pdf

for word


Darb Site: The letter from Abir Al-Safyt from her prison to her child. Posted: March 2020 Browse by May 2020     https://daaarb.com/%D8%B1%D8%B3%D9%85%D8%A9-%D8%B1%D8%B3%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A9-%D8%B9%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B5%D9%81%D8%AA%D9%8A-%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A8%D8%B3%D9%87%D8%A7-%D9%84%D8%B7%D9%81%D9%84%D8%AA/?fbclid=IwAR1tZuh1UQpi8rot9Rrhq9bMhkXLxEBLf4WmNcVK6dSo1UjICNhOzxGa7LQ

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
“Lawyers for Democracy” Initiative

Introduction

This is the third Democratic Path report released by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) throughout 2020. Political incidents escalated in the last month of the period covered by the report. For the second year in a row, thousands of citizens took to the streets – in what is known in the media as ‘September 20 Protests’ – to protest the economic policies adopted by the state and to reject to a bunch of laws passed by the legislative authority, on top of which is the Reconciliation Law on Building Violations.

Security crackdown against human rights defenders continued during the reporting period, when the State Security Prosecution interrogated a number of lawyers, human rights defenders and activists over new cases despite being held in pretrial detention, accusing them of communicating with each other with the aim of committing terrorist crimes although they are being detained at different prisons. Among the most prominent of those investigated were: human rights lawyers Amr Imam, Mohamed al-Baqir, and Mahinour al-Masri, and journalists Solafa Magdy and Israa Abdel Fattah. Additionally, the Egyptian judiciary has turned down the appeal submitted by 13 human rights defenders challenging the travel ban decision issued by the investigating judge in the case known in the media as ‘The closure of civil society’.

The reporting period also witnessed the resumption of trial sessions while following the precautionary measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 after 3-month suspension.

The report can be summarized in number as follows:

  • Number of protests during the reporting period: 131
  • Number of trials during the reporting period: 42, including 3 military trials
  • Number of civilians brought to trial before military courts: 996 citizens.
  • Number of violations against media freedoms and freedom of expression: 38
  • Number of people sentenced to death during the reporting period: 15 citizens, throughout 3 trials.

 

The details of the state of the democratic path during the 3Rd quarter of 2020 are outlined, in numbers and percentages, as follows:

First: Protest events

During the third quarter of the year, the various forces organized 131 different events, and their distribution was as follows:

* Social and labor protests: 50 protest events

* Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL): 23

* Student protests: 5

* Pro-regime protests: 4

* Unclassified protest events: 49

The following table shows the percentage of protest activities according to the organizing forces

The month of September came first in witnessing the largest number of protest events with 29 different protests, as shown in the following table:

July August September Total
32 31 68 131

 

Out of these different events, 57 were attacked by security forces, 65 passed without attacks, and 9 labor and social protests were resolved after negotiations.

Labor and Social protests:

The third quarter of 2020 witnessed 50 different social and labor protests; five of which were attacked by security forces, whereas 36 passed without interference, and 9 were resolved after negotiations with their organizers.

The most important demands brought by the social and labor protests:

  • A number of workers protested their arbitrary dismissal from work and demanded the disbursement of their financial dues
  • A number of workers demanded installation in their jobs
  • A number of citizens protested the demolition of their houses objecting to Reconciliation Law on Building Violations
  • A number of nurses and medical staff protested the health conditions in hospitals and demanded to conduct a coronavirus test for them.

MB and NASL protest activities:

The third quarter of 2020 witnessed a continued decline in the protest activities organized by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL); and this is due to the alliance’s fear of arrest especially after the arrest of the MB deputy guide Mahmoud Ezzat. During the reporting period 23 different protests were staged, including three that were attacked by the security forces and 20 that were left without security intervention, while none of them was subject to negotiation.

The most important demands raised by Muslim Brotherhood and the National Alliance to Support Legitimacy:

  • Demanding the release of detainees and improvements to prison conditions.
  • Demanding to topple what they described as the military rule.
  • Denouncing the arrest of MB deputy guide Mahmoud Ezzat

Student activities:

The third quarter of the year witnessed student organizing 5 protest events all of which hadn’t been dispersed by the security forces.

Student protests’ main demands:

  • A number of high school students objected to the difficulty of the physics exam.
  • A number of high school students objected to the results of their exams and their academic grievance.

 

Pro-regime protest events:  

The third quarter of 2020 witnessed four protests supporting the regime and the state’s decisions, and all of them hadn’t faced any sort of intervention by the security forces.

Unclassified Protests (September 20 incidents):

The last month of the third quarter of 2020 witnessed thousands of citizens who are not affiliated with any political faction organizing protest events on September 20, in what is dubbed in media as ‘September 20 incidents’. About 49 protest events all over Egypt’ various governorates had been staged, during which the security forces arrested hundreds of citizens and referred them to the Supreme State Security Prosecution which interrogated them over Case No. 880 of 2020 State security on charges of: Colluding with a terrorist group to achieve its goals, spreading false news and statements, misusing social media, joining a gathering with the aim to commit acts of violence.

 

Second: Trials 

  1. Ongoing trials:

The third quarter of 2020 witnessed 42 trial cases that are being considered before the Egyptian judiciary. Of these, there were 17 rulings of conviction, four acquittals and three death sentences against 15 defendants.

The distribution of the 42 ongoing trials is as follows:

* 28 trials for the MB & NASL.

* 6 trials of the civil and democratic powers.

* 4 trials for Mubarak’s regime’s affiliates.

* 1 trial in other cases

* The military judiciary considered 3 trials for 996 civilians

 

The most prominent trials of MB and NASL are:

The cases known in the media as: (Isis-October, Isis-First Settlement, Isis- Upper Egypt, Rabaa Sit-in dispersal,, arson of Al-Atamna Police Station, arson of Kafr Hakim Church, Helwan Brigades, Al-Nusra Front, Al-Moski violence incidents, raiding Al-Arab Police Station, May 15 violence incidents, raiding Al-Tebbein Police Station, Al-Masara Cell, raiding Kerdasa Police Station, Al-Maghara incidents)

The most prominent trials of Mubarak regime figures are:

The cases known in the media as: (The Green Belt, customs corruption, the License Plates and Gas coupons).

The most prominent trials of civil and democratic powers are:

The cases known in the media as: (The Oppressed of Downtown, The trial of Al-Warraq Island residents, The Cabinet incidents, Trial of lawyer Zyiad El-Eleimy, the seizure of Dr. Hassan Nafaa’s funds, and the trial of engineer Mamdouh Hamza).

The most prominent trials of post- June 30th regime’s affiliates are:

The cases known in the media as: (The Great Wheat Corruption)

The Military Trials of civilians:

In the third quarter of 2020, the military judiciary considered 3 ongoing trials for 996 civilians.

  1. Sentences 

During the reporting period, there were 22 convictions and 4 acquittals. The details are as follows:

Convictions:

During the third quarter of the year, the Egyptian judiciary issued 22 convictions, distributed as follows:

* 18 rulings against the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and the National Alliance for the Support of Legitimacy (NASL).

* Two rulings against Mubarak regime’s figures

* One ruling against defendants in the civil democratic forces’ cases

* One ruling against June 30-regime’s supporters

 

Acquittals:

During the third quarter of the year, four acquittals had been handed down for the MB and NASL affiliates, in addition to two rulings of acquittal for Mubarak regime’s figures.

Death sentences

Three death sentences were issued against 15 defendants during the third quarter of 2020, in addition to the execution of 7 defendants convicted of killing Sergeant Ahmed Abu Douma, assistant detective of Ismailia 3rd Police Station in 2013, as shown in the following table:

1- Rulings 

2- Defendants

 

Total (Number of defendants)

 

Number of defendants upheld by the Court of Cassation to be executed Number of defendants upheld by the Mufti to be executed  

Number of defendants referred to the Mufti

15 9 6 Civil
Military
15 9 6 Total

 

3- Death sentences executed:

The Prisons Authority sector executed, in the month of July, one death sentence handed down against one defendant:

On 28 July 2020, the Prisons Authority sector carried out the death sentence that was issued by Ismailia Criminal Court against 7 defendants after being convicted of killing Sergeant Ahmed Abu Douma, assistant detective of Ismailia 3rd Police Station in 2013.

 

Third: Violence and Terrorism 

The third quarter of 2020 witnessed a total of 8 terrorist operations that took place in North Sinai governorate, along with 16 counter-terrorism operations, detailed as follows:

  1. Terrorist operations:

Eight terrorist attacks took place in the third quarter of the year; 7 of them had been carried out, while the security forces succeeded in thwarting only one. The operations resulted in the killing and injury of 43 people.

The following table shows the percentage of terrorist operations and counter-terrorism ones:

Total Operations thwarted Operations carried out Months
3 1 2 July
3 0 3 August
2 0 2 September
8 1 7 Total

 

The following table shows the number of terrorist operations and their distribution in the different governorates: 

Total Operations thwarted Operations carried out Governorates
8 1 7 North Sinai
8 1 7 Total

 

– These operations had resulted in 43 killed and wounded.

The following table shows the number of killed and wounded and their distribution:

Total Terrorists Security forces civilians
21 0 20 1 Number of killed
22 0 22 0 Number of wounded
43 0 42 1 Total

 

  1. Counter-Terrorism Operations 

During the third quarter of the year, there were 16 preemptive attacks by the security forces which targeted what they described as terrorism hubs, resulting in the killing of 120, the wounding of 7 and the arrest of 35 others.

The following table shows the number of dead and injured

Total

 

Those targeted Security forces
120 112 8 Number of killed
7 6 1 Number of wounded
127 118 9 Total

 

 

Fourth: Attack on Freedom of Expression and Media Freedoms 

The third quarter of the year witnessed 38 various violations against freedom of expression and media freedoms.

The following table shows the number of violations took place throughout the 3rd quarter of 2020:

Months Number of violations

 

15 July
10 August
13 September
38 Total during the 3rd quarter of 2020

 

Details are as follows:

 

Number of violations Kind of violation
16 Investigations and detention renewal sessions
6 Coverage ban
5 Arrest and/or detention
3 Physical and verbal attacks
3 Administrative penalties (fines)
2 Administrative investigations
2 Complaints with the Public Prosecutor
1 Publication ban
38 Total of violations

Fifth: Attack on Human Rights Defenders:

1-On 1 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the detention renewal of human rights lawyer Sayed al-Banna, Dr. Walid Shawki and linguist Ayman Abdel-Moati pending the Case No. 621 of 2018 State Security, in which they face charges of joining a terrorist group and spreading false news and statements. The case was postponed for the hearing of 15 July 2020 due to the inability to transfer the defendants from their jail to the courthouse. On the 15 July hearing, the court decided to renew the detention of the three activists for 45 days. Then on August 23, the same court replaced the activists’ pretrial detention with precautionary measures, without releasing them from jail, rather, both Ayman and Sayed were recycled into a new case; Case No. 880 of 2020 State Security.

2- On 5 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court decided to postpone the consideration of the detention renewal of human rights lawyer Amr Imam, journalists Israa Abdel-Fattah, Solafa Magdy and Hossam al-Sayyad pending the Case No. 488 of 2019 State Security, in which they face charges of colluding with a terrorist group to achieve its goals, publishing and broadcasting false news and statements, and misusing social media. The case was postponed to the hearing of 19 July 2020, due to the inability to transfer the defendants from their jail to the courthouse. Then, on 19 July 2020, the court renewed the defendants’ detention for 45 days which was extended for further 45 days on the session set on August 25.

3- On 6 July 2020, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Mohsen Bahnasi for 15 days pending the Case No. 558 of 2020 State Security on charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news and statements and misusing social media. Then, on the 20 July session, the Prosecution renewed the lawyer’s detention for 15 days, which was extended for further 15 days on the session of August 8, before the court decided to replace his pretrial detention with precautionary measures on the session of 23 August.

4- On 7 July 2020, the Supreme State Security Prosecution decided to renew the detention of journalist and researcher Shaimaa Samy- without appearing before the prosecutor- for 15 days pending the Case No. 535 of 2020 State Security, in which she is charged with joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its goals, misusing social media, and spreading false news and statements. Then on 22 July, the Prosecution extended the researcher’s detention for 15 days pending the same aforementioned case and charges.

5- On 12 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Mohab al-Ebrashi for 45 days pending the Case No. 1898 of 2019 State Security, in which he is charged with joining a terrorist group, misusing social media and spreading false news and statements.

6- On 14 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court renewed the detention of engineer Yehia Hussein Abdel Hady for further 45 days pending investigations into the Case No. 277 of 2019 State Security, in which he is accused of colluding with a terrorist group to achieve its goals and spreading and broadcasting false news and statements. On 31 August, the court extended the engineer’s defendant for 45 days.

7- On 14 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court ordered the continuation of the precautionary measures (appearing before the police station one day a week for 2 hours) issued against Hisham Jafar, journalist and head of ‘Mada’ Foundation for Media Development, for 45 days pending case No. 720 of 2015 State Security, in which he faces charges of joining a terrorist group and receiving international bribery.

8- On 18 July 2020, South Cairo Criminal Court turned down the appeal filed by 14 human rights defenders challenging the travel ban order issued against them by the investigating judge mandated to consider the case known in the media as “the closure of the civil society”.

9- On 19 July 2020, the Supreme State Security Prosecution renewed the detention of activist Sanaa Seif- without bringing her from her jail- for 15 days pending Case No. 659 of 2020 State Security, on charges of: incitement of terrorist crimes, publishing and broadcasting false news and statements that call for disturbing public security, misuse of social media, and using the internet to promote views calling for terrorist acts. On 28 July 2020, the Prosecution renewed the detention of the human rights activist for 15 days- without appearing before the prosecutor- pending the aforementioned cases and charges. Then on 12 September 2020, Cairo Criminal Court adjourned the activist’s first trial hearing for September 17 due to the inability to bring her from her jail to the courthouse. On the September 17 hearing, the court postponed the trial for the hearing of 11 October 2020.

10- On 25 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Haytham Mohamdein for 45 days pending Case No. 741 of 2019 State Security, in which he is accused of colluding with a terrorist group to achieve its goals and spreading false news and statements.

11- On 25 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Zyiad Elelaimy and journalists Hossam Moanis and Hisham Fouad for 45 days, pending Case No. 930 of 2019 State Security, in which they face charges of abetting a terrorist group in achieving its goals and spreading false news and statements.

12- On 26 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court renewed the detention of journalist Khaled Daoud and human rights lawyer Mahinour El-Masry for 45 days pending the Case No. 488 of 2019 State Security, on charges of abetting a terrorist group to achieve its goals, spreading false news and statements, and misusing social media.

13- On 27 July 2020, Cairo Criminal Court decided to renew the detention of human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Baqir and bloggers Alaa Abdel-Fattah and Mohamed Oxygen for 45 days pending Case No. 1356 of 2019 State Security, in which they are charged with abetting a terrorist group to achieve its goals, committing one of funding-related crimes, spreading and broadcasting false news and statements.

14- On 8 August 2020, the Court of Administrative Justice decided to adjourn the appeal No. 7720 of 72 ( judicial year) submitted by human rights lawyer Gamal Eid challenging the travel ban issued against him, for the hearing of 19 September 2020.

15- On 23 August 2020, Cairo Criminal Court decided to renew the detention of journalist Israa Abdel-Fattah for 45 days pending Case No. 488 of 2019 State Security, in which she faces charges of colluding with a terrorist group to achieve its goals, publishing and broadcasting false news and statements, and misusing social media.

16- On 26 August 2020, the Supreme State Security Prosecution interrogated human rights lawyer Amr Imam over a new case; No. 855 of 2020 State Security, on charges of joining a terrorist group, receiving funding with the aim of committing a terrorist crime. The Prosecution accordingly decided to renew his detention for 15 days over the new case following the end of his detention over the Case No. 488 of 2019.

17- On 31 August 2020, the Supreme State Security Prosecution interrogated human rights lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer and journalist Israa Abdel-Fattah into Case No. 855 of 2020 on charges of colluding with a terrorist group to achieve its goals and committing one of funding-related crimes. The Prosecution then decided to hold them in pretrial detention for 15 days that would start after serving their detention period over the pending cases.

18- On 17 September 2020, the Supreme State Security Prosecution investigated human rights lawyer Sayed al-Banna and linguist Ayman Abdel-Moati over Case No. 880 of 2020 State Security on charges of joining a terrorist group, misusing social media, and spreading false news and statements. The Prosecution then ruled to hold them in pretrial detention for 15 days pending probe, despite the fact that they had illegally been held in an unknown place for 15 days since their release order issued over Case No. 621 of 2018 State Security at the August 23 session.


for pdf

for word


Note: This report is based on the cases monitored by ANHRI and does not necessarily include all the incidents took place throughout the month.

To view the previous Democratic Path reports:

To view the Democratic Path Report in 2014, “Obscure and stalled”

To view the Democratic Path Report in 2015, “One step back, two steps further back”

To view the Democratic Path Report in 2016 “Closed until further notice”

To view the Democratic Path Report in 2017, “Very Steep”

To view the Democratic Path Report in 2018, “Mounting Anger”.

Less Hope, More Despair…The Democratic Path in Egypt 2019


(1)- The Democratic Path is a report launched by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) in 2014. It is now released every three months, i.e. quarterly, but ANHRI used to publish it on a monthly basis during the previous years through the “Lawyers for Democracy” initiative.

In addition to the monthly reports issued to monitor the state of democracy, ANHRI issued annual reports to monitor the democratic path, which can be accessed through the “Reports” section on ANHRI’s website by clicking on the following link:

https://www.anhri.info/?cat=14&lang=en

Note: This report is based on the cases monitored and documented by the “Lawyers for Democracy” initiative’s team and does not necessarily include all the incidents took place throughout the reporting period.