New investigation with lawyer Rawda Ahmed in the strangling of civil society case 173

Cairo: 7 June 2018

Today, the investigation with lawyer Rawda Ahmed from The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) into the case of strangling and sieging civil society, known as case No. 173, continues before the investigating judge, Hesham Abdel Meguid, after a previous investigation session, which took place a month ago, on May 7, during which the investigation was postponed when the investigating judge found out that the information presented to him was false and incorrect. Instead of closing the case and punishing those who fabricated it, the investigation was postponed to today’s session, so that the false information could be corrected and to find information that might help close or stop the activities of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and retaliate against its founder and employees.

The investigation, which is being continued today, is part of a series of aggressive and vindictive attacks by the state targeting independent human rights organizations that have refused to collude on human rights violations in Egypt since the rule of the corrupt dictator Hosni Mubarak until today, especially after President Sisi came to power, as human rights violations were on the rise at an unprecedented pace.

Despite ANHRI’s credibility, or because of it, today’s investigation was not the first, and most likely will not be the last, as part of several measures taken by the state, whether through the Ministry of Interior and its other bodies, or through the subservient media controlled by the state, all the way to trying to force and use the judiciary to strangle and siege ANHRI’s attempts to contribute to supporting the rule of law, freedom of expression and justice.

Acts of reprisal against ANHRI have escalated since Sisi took power in Egypt taking various forms, including:

– Banning ANHRI’s Executive Director “Gamal Eid” from traveling without stating the reasons or informing him on February 4, 2016.

– Freezing ANHRI’s Executive Director’s assets because of a memorandum based on false information from the investigating judge Hesham Abdel Meguid in September 2016.

– Attempts to involve ANHRI’s Executive Director’s daughter and wife in the case, and even after the court refused this, his daughter was not spared the blatant media campaign by some media professionals and journalists.

– Threats over the phone from “private numbers” to ANRHI’s Executive Director.

– Vicious media campaigns by media outlets, the majority of which are controlled by the state, to tarnish ANHRI’s image.

– Summonings accompanied by threats to some of ANHRI’s employees for the National Security and attempts to intimidate them, which forced some of them to leave ANHRI.

– Summoning some lawyers to investigation in case 173 before the investigating judge.

– Closing public libraries in popular neighborhoods established by lawyer Gamal Eid, ANHRI’s Executive Director, in a police and vindictive manner and with the complicity of the former Egyptian candidate for UNESCO, and with the knowledge of the president, who allegedly called it a legal procedure, while in fact it is a pure police action.

– Blocking ANHRI’s website without a judicial decision and without any reason from users in Egypt.

– Some lawyers close to the regime filed malicious cases to try to close ANHRI, some of which are still ongoing before the courts till now.

– Public incitement to murder, by some journalists affiliated with the regime, against independent human rights organizations, including ANHRI, without opening any investigations and in the silence of the law enforcement agencies, such as the Public Prosecutor.

ANHRI reinstates its commitment to its decision to continue its legal work, as both a right and a duty, to support the victims of widespread violations in Egypt, to create a state of rule of law and justice, and restore democracy in Egypt.

Information about Case 173

Information about the asset freeze case against ANRHI’s Executive Director