Cairo: 4 February, 2018
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that 2 years have gone by since a travel ban has been imposed on its executive director, lawyer Gamal Eid, by a decision he only found out about at Cairo International Airport, he was neither notified of it, nor has he seen it till this day.
Gamal Eid was banned from traveling at Cairo airport on February 4, 2016 while he was on his way to Greece, by a decision he was neither notified of, nor has he seen till this day, he later found out that it had been issued by the investigative judge Hisham Abdul Majid, whose mandate to investigate the “terrorizing of civil society” case known as Case No. 173 of 2011 was challenged, during the case requesting freeze his and his family’s assets, in which the decision was some sort of a compromise, where his own assets were frozen, while those of his wife and daughter were spared.
The decision to ban him from traveling and freeze his assets was based on the investigations of the state security officer “Mahmoud Ali Mahmoud” although “Eid” had exposed to the court that these investigations were lies, false and fabricated, however, the absence of a law to punish officers who fabricate, in addition to the desire of the state to take revenge, prevailed.
As if the travel ban and asset freeze were not enough, the reprisals that have no respect for the law and no impartiality continued to include cheap defamation campaigns in the media, in media outlets mostly controlled by the police, blocking ANHRI’s website and preventing Internet users in Egypt from reaching it. This police measures culminated in a police campaign to close the series of public libraries established by Gamal Eid in a number of popular neighborhoods without a judicial decision and with total disregard to the youth and children of these neighborhoods deprived of such services who were severely affected by the shutting down of those libraries.
Gamal Eid said: “The police regime resorted to using carrot and stick approach with me, some human rights defenders and I were required to remain silent and offer some collusion, in exchange for becoming a member of the parliament under the SCAF, then the membership of the National Council for Human Rights and of the Ministry of Transitional Justice under the interim president who ruled under General Sisi’s reign, when I refused, the stick was these police measures! Unfortunately, this policy is old and unethical, human rights and respect for the rule of law are nonnegotiable, we will not be a tool used by the regime to improve its image and then set it aside, like what happened with others.”
Eid added: “Whenever I see the raise in the number of political prisoners in Egypt, the use of pre-trial detention as a punishment becoming wide-spread, freedom of the press is suffocating, reconciliation with the corrupt becomes systematic and the retaliation against independent judges rampant, I feel there is no room to think about any points of convergence with this regime, we are going on parallel paths! We adhere to our position and ready to pay the price for it.”
ANHRI found out that an order been issued to the Tax Authority to open a tax evasion file for Gamal Eid and others, although the tax authority officials recognize that Gamal Eid has paid his taxes regularly since the end of the 90s, his taxes were examined before and it was in order! But who can stand up to police measures in Egypt, even if they were illegal? Of course, no one.
ANHRI said: “We will continue to work with our full capacity to provide legal aid and support to the thousands of victims of this regime. This is their right, our right and duty at the same time. Defending human rights is not a crime except under a regime that does not respect the law and opposes different voices and opinions. We will continue to do our work and will not stop voluntarily. “