Update: Verdict Issued against Women Human Rights Defenders

Post taken from the Feminist Studies emailer.

On 26 October 2014, the verdict of the case known as the Ittihadia Presidential Palace was issued at the Police Institute near Tora, where the seven women human rights defenders along with other protesters were sentenced to 3 years’ imprisonment, in addition to 3 years’ monitoring and a fine of EGP 10,000 (USD 1398.60).

The seven women human rights defenders arrested amongst others included Ms. Sanaa Seif, Ms. Yara Sallam, Ms. Hanan Mustafa Mohamed, Ms. Salwa Mihriz, Ms. Samar Ibrahim, Ms. Nahid Sherif (known as Nahid Bebo) and Ms. Fikreya Mohamed (known as Rania El-Sheikh). They were arrested on 21 June 2014 along with others for protesting peacefully against the Protest and Public Assembly Law.

Ms. Sanaa Seif and the other women human rights defenders are currently being held in Qanater women’s prison. On 28 August 2014, Ms. Sanaa Seif decided to begin an open hunger strike where she is taking water only, to protest against the Protest and Public Assembly Law, which has led to the continuation of her arbitrary arrest and others. The decision to begin a hunger strike came amidst the passing away of her father, human rights defender Mr. Ahmed Seif El-Islam, and continued imprisonment of her brother, human rights defender Mr. Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who also began an open hunger strike on 18 August 2014. She is in a very weak condition.

Nazra for Feminist Studies finds this verdict both horrifying and shocking, particularly in the midst of the absence of incriminating evidence. Nazra for Feminist Studies urges the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the aforementioned women human rights defenders and drop all charges directed at them stemming from the legitimate exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It also urges the Egyptian authorities to take all measures to guarantee the physical and psychological integrity and security of all seven women human rights defenders.

For further information on this case, please refer to Nazra for Feminist Studies’ urgent appeals and updates dated 22 June 2014, 26 June 2014, 29 June 2014 and 12 July 2014.

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