The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, Ms Reine Alapini-Gansou, has been informed of the sentence handed down on appeal against human rights defenders Yara Sallam, Sanaa Seif and 21 other co-accused on Sunday, 28 December 2014, in the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The Special Rapporteur condemns the sentence which runs completely counter to the principles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), and other regional and international instruments duly ratified by Egypt.
On the morning of 13 January 2015, Cairo International Airport stopped prominent women human rights defender Esraa Abdel-Fattah from embarking on a flight to Germany, and Ms. Abdel-Fattah was informed that this is a result of a travel ban issued against her by the security administration. Esraa Abdel-Fattah was not notified prior to this morning that there is a travel ban officially issued against her.
Faced with unequal power relations at the negotiating table and authoritarian consolidation, a member of the 50-committee explores how feminist voices achieved leverage when drafting the 2014 Egyptian Constitution to include article 11.
Since 21st June 2014 Yara Sallam, WLUML networker and award-winning human rights defender has been held under the unconstitutional 'Protest Law', along with six other women arrested on the same occasion. Countless more are being held on similarly spurious charges in a wave of crackdowns on civil society and dissenting voices in Egypt. On 26 October 2014, a Cairo Misdemeanours Court sentenced Yara - along with 22 other human rights defenders and protesters - to three years' imprisonment, a further three years' police monitoring, and a fine of 10,000 Egyptian Pounds each. An appeal has been launched to overturn the sentence, but they remain behind bars.
I still feel the teargas' effects on me... my eyes and my nose are on fire, the voices of people are coming from different sides “wash your eyes with Pepsi”, and the voice in my head “but my face will be sticky”. I still check my Twitter timeline and search for my friends and colleagues tweets or the face book updates; recalling the unspoken code: as long as you are tweeting or facebooking then you are safe and hopefully secure.
The Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders in Africa, MsReine Alapini-Gansou, the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information in Africa, MsFaith Pansy Tlakula, of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Mr.
Since the revolution erupted in Egypt in 2011, two main forces have been controlling the scene: the military junta and the Islamists. Tomorrow sees 7 Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) charged under the so-called 'Protest Law' appear in court. Fatma Emam, Egyptian feminist and member of WLUML’s Advisory Council, describes the situation from the ground.