Egypt Solidarity has prepared this statement in collaboration with Egyptian activists who are deeply involved with mobilising solidarity campaigns for political prisoners both inside and outside Egypt, including relatives and friends of detainees. In order not to expose individuals and families to risk of reprisals and victimisation by the regime, we are issuing the call on their behalf.
June 20-21, 2015
An international call for action in solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners
Stop repression of protests – Free political prisoners – No more disappearances – Fair trials for all – End abuse and torture – No executions
On 21 June 2014 a small group of demonstrators approached Egypt’s presidential palace. Their demonstration was the first to challenge the repressive anti-protest laws since Abdelfattah Al-Sisi had been sworn in after victory in the presidential elections. Armed thugs and police attacked their peaceful march, and 23 people were arrested and later sentenced to years in jail, simply for exercising their rights to assembly and free expression. Al-Sisi, whose election was hailed by Western leaders as a step forward in Egypt’s “transition”, crushed their protest.
A year later, we are calling for international solidarity with all Egyptian political prisoners, in the hope that highlighting this one case will help build a movement campaigning for justice for the tens of thousands jailed by the military regime.
In January 2011, protesters in Egypt inspired the world with their bravery and determination in the fight for democracy and better life. Today, many of those brave protestors have been either killed or jailed. At the same time, Mubarak and his supporters, including the police generals responsible for killing protesters and corruption, have been set free.
In July 2013, the military overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, who had been elected president the previous year. Since then, more than 3000 Egyptian citizens have been killed, and no-one has been held accountable. More than 40,000 were arrested during the first year of the military regime. Those arrested have not received a fair trial and many had no access to legal procedures at all. Military and civilian courts in Egypt have issued death sentences against some of the leaders and hundreds of alleged supporters of Muslim Brotherhood, including the ousted president Mohamed Morsi. Human rights groups have condemned these trials as completely unfair.
Revolutionary activists who had opposed Morsi’s regime, and taken to the streets in defiance of the Brotherhood, are also being arrested, abused and jailed. Activists such as Ahmed Douma, who played a leading role in the 2011 revolution have received life sentences. Under a draconian anti-protest law many youth have been jailed.
Everything associated with the January revolution of 2011 is now a target in Egypt.
Meanwhile terrorist attacks are escalating, and the current regime has used the discourse of the war on terror to justify a backlash against everything related to civil liberties and human rights. Egypt does not have a parliament. The president holds both legislative and executive power. And parliamentary elections have been delayed yet again.
The president has used this power to issue an enormous number of laws to expand state repression. In 2014, about 90 Egyptian citizens were tortured to death in police stations, without anyone being held accountable or even proper legal investigations. ِAccording to the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, there 61 journalists have been jailed because of their writing or their work over the last two years in Egypt. Shooting live ammunition at protesters has been normalized.
Al-Sisi’s regime is bankrolled by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries from the Gulf. Western regimes which recently paid lip service to support for human rights and democracy are now sending billions of dollars in military and economic aid, as well as selling arms and surveillance technologies and to the repressive regime in Egypt.
We call for international solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners on June 20-21, 2015.
- Stop repression of protests
- Free political prisoners
- Fair trials for all
- End abuse and torture
- No executions
Here are examples of what you can do:
On 20-21 June 2015:
- Join the campaign on social media in solidarity with Egyptian political prisoners, using the hashtag #EgyPrisoners by writing tweets, and write and share posts
- Contact journalists and encourage them to write short features about Egyptian political prisoners
- Write and submit your own opinion piece to your local media
- Send a collective letter or protest to the Egyptian embassy in your country mentioning the demands in this statement from your trade union, student union or political party
- Coordinate with others to protest in front of Egyptian embassies, consulates and state tourist information offices around the world on 20-21 June, 2015
- Write to your parliamentary representatives calling for an end to arms sales and financial support for the Egyptian regime
Solidarity events and information will be posted on the Egypt Solidarity Initiative website here and on our Facebook page.