Egypt must repeal all repressive measures against human rights defenders

Azza Soliman
Azza Soliman

IAW is joining its voice with many other organisations and individuals all over the world as well as with a group of UN Experts in Geneva in calling on the Egyptian government to immediately repeal all repressive measures against human rights defenders including travel bans and legislation that criminalizes legitimate activities.

The group of UN Experts has strongly condemned Egypt for escalating its action against human rights defenders and women’s rights groups as part of the continuing crackdown of independent civil society organisations in different ways.

The noose is tightening round the women’s rights movement and this is having a considerable impact on human rights and is leaving thousands of women in need of support and security.

Most recent developments have to do with a session of the Court in Cairo on 12 December 2016 concerning the decision to freeze the assets of Azza Soliman a prominent human rights defender and founder of the Centre for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance as well as the assets of her organisation. During this session, a request was made to take similar action against several other human rights defenders including Mozn Hassan another prominent human rights defender who is already subject to a travel ban. Her organisation, Nazra for Feminist Studies, which is a well known women’s organisation has been doing critical work to promote gender equality, women’s political participation and combat violence against women and girls in Egypt. Mozn Hassan founder and director of Nazra for Feminist Studies has worked hard to strenghten the women’s movement in her country and to educate a new generation of young feminists. The expression of support for Nazra for Feminist Studies in the social media shows the impact of this organisation’s work on young women in Egypt and beyond. On 14 December, the North Cairo Court postponed the verdict issuance for the asset freeze of Mozn Hassan and her organisation to 11 January 2017.

We should all raise our voices to make sure the international community cannot ignore these developments and should condemn these actions against human rights defenders and women’s groups in Egypt.