The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition, of which WLUML is a member, is alarmed that the Prosecutor General at the Qasr El Nile Prosecution Office in Cairo has rejected appeals for lawyer and woman human rights defender Azza Soliman to be listed as a witness rather than a defendant in the case of Shaimaa ElSabbagh, who was killed while peacefully protesting on January 24 2015.
Aujourd’hui, un jour après avoir rendu hommage aux femmes militantes, nous apprenons de l’activiste algérienne, Cherifa Kheddar, qu’elle a été agressée par la police et arrêtée avec certains autres membres de son organisation alors qu’ils/elles tentaient de manifester devant le bureau central à Alger lors de la journée internationale des droits des femmes.
Today, just one day after we delivered a tribute women human rights defenders attacked for their activism, we received news from Algerian activist Cherifa Kheddar that she was assaulted by police and arrested along with several other members of her organization while trying to demonstrate in front of the Central Post Office on International Women's Day in Algiers.
I find myself helpless, but to repeat the sentence most of her loved ones and colleagues used during the last 8 months: "I can't believe that Yara in prison". The Pan-African Woman Human Rights Defender and prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer Yara Sallam was detained while protesting the controversial “protest law” in Egypt, in June last year. "We used to send her the urgent calls for actions and ask her for help to campaign for WHRDs in detention in all over Africa and the Arab region. But now, do we have to campaign for her? How could we possibly do that? Should we copy her in the emails?" Those were the questions that popped up inside my head when I first read the news.
As international networks and organisations concerned with equality between all citizens before the law, standing for secularism as prevention of communalism, we are closely following and monitoring the case against human rights defenders Teesta Setalvad and husband Javed Anand in India.