The arrest and detention of labour lawyer Haitham Mohamedain has sparked solidarity from around the world. A statement signed by dozens of prominent trade unionists, academics and campaigners in the UK was launched by Egypt Solidarity Initiative today. Signatories include Ian Hodson, General Secretary of the bakers union BFAWU, leading labour lawyer John Hendy QC, Liz Lawrence, president of the lecturers’ union UCU and Lindsey German, convenor of Stop the War Coalition. Activists from Egypt Solidarity Initiative joined marchers on the May Day demonstration in London to collect signatures and solidarity photos.
In Ireland, members of the People Before Profit Alliance have been campaigning over Haitham’s arrest and the widespread crackdown in the Irish parliament, the Dail. In a speech in parliament on 28 April, Richard Boyd Barrett, member of the Dail, asked why Ireland maintained strong trade links and normal diplomatic relations with Sisi’s regime, despite horrendous violations of human rights.
I want to mention the name of a socialist who has just been arrested, a human rights lawyer, who was taken during the round-up of thousands of innocent people who were involved in a protest against the latest turn in the Egyptian regime’s policy which is to sell off a series of Egyptian islands to the Saudi dictatorship. There are peaceful, civil protests going on and thousands of people are being rounded up, including a young lawyer, Haitham Mohamedain.”
US lecturers and teachers have also launched a statement on progressive website TruthOut condemning the crackdown, Haitham’s arrest, and the murder of Cambridge researcher Giulio Regeni. Giulio’s case was also the topic of Scott McLemee’s column for widely-read website Inside HigherEd this month.
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