As a member of the Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition (WHRDIC), WLUML condemns the killing of Shaimaa El Sabbagh and calls on the Egyptian government to investigate her murder, and to drop charges against all witnesses.
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.
يُواجه الشرطي البحريني الذي يقوم بقتل متظاهر بدم بارد، أو بضرب محتجز حتى الموت، عقوبة بالسجن تتراوح بين ستة أشهر وسنتين، بينما يواجه المتظاهر السلمي الذي يدعو إلى إقامة نظام جمهوري عقوبة السجن المؤبد. إن مشكلة البحرين ليست في اختلال نظام العدالة، إنما في نظام الظلم الذي يؤدي عمله بشكل جيد.
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.
“Political platforms using security discourse to stop mafia organisations have actually strengthened human trafficking networks, that are now turning to women and children. If a woman has full access to her rights she will not need to turn to these trafficking networks,” according to migrant and human trafficking researcher Helena Maleno Garzón. The intersections of racism, sexism and and violence create entrenched problems for migrant women in North Africa.
Les intersections entre le racisme, le sexisme et la violence à l’égard des migrantes africaines subsahariennes au Maroc et au-delà sont un gros problème. L’AWID s’entretient avec Helena Maleno Garzón, chercheuse spécialisée dans les migrations et dans la traite des êtres humains, et membre du réseau Caminando Fronteras. Elle nous prévient: «les discours des politiciens qui s’appuient sur la sécurité pour arrêter les organisations mafieuses ont renforcé les réseaux de traite de personnes. Ces réseaux se tournent maintenant vers les femmes et les enfants.»
The decision to leave your country, especially when you leave for political or ideological reasons, can be gut-wrenching. My parents made that decision for me when they left Iran in my early adolescence. Unlike some Iranians forced to flee, my parents were not members of a persecuted religious minority. Nor were they high-profile political activists at immediate risk of arrest. But as people who had demonstrated against the Shah’s dictatorship, and had hoped that the 1979 revolution would bring democracy and social justice to Iran, witnessing their country plunge into authoritarianism and turn into a theocracy was more than they could bear. It was like the country they knew and hoped for no longer existed. Add to that the fact that, in September 1980, Saddam Hussein ordered the invasion of Iran, igniting a cruel war that would last eight years, and my parents felt that the best option for them, my two sisters and me was to build a future elsewhere. It was a decision that tormented them as they made it, and continued to occupy their thoughts for years after emigration.