Fears were mounting for Egyptian trade union lawyer and activist Haitham Mohamadein following his arrest from him home in the early hours of Friday 18 May. Over 24 hours since National Security officers and police stormed his home, there has been no confirmation of his whereabouts.
In a strongly-worded statement issued on Friday night, Amnesty International condemned Haitham’s arrest and incommunicado detention, calling for his immediate release. Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director said:
The Egyptian authorities are known for using arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance to punish human rights lawyers and members of the opposition. As such there is a real possibility he is being ill-treated in detention by the authorities right now. We call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Haytham Mohamdeen and to provide information about his whereabouts and wellbeing.
Haitham’s arrest was linked to his work as a lawyer defending workers’ rights and supporting organisations such as El Nadeem Centre, a respected human rights NGO which works with victims of torture and violence, Bounaim said.
This appears to be yet another attack on the right to freedom of expression and association. It is a reminder of the incredible obstacles faced by those who are striving to defend the human rights of the Egyptian people. Instead of arresting Egyptians who stand up for the human rights of others, the authorities must work with these activists and enable their work
What you can do:
- Send urgent messages of protest at Haitham’s arrest to the Egyptian embassy in your country