Egypt: Trials against Human Rights Activists to Restart
In advance of an Egyptian court on May 23 resuming the trial of human rights activists Gamal Eid, Hossam Bahgat, and Bahey el-din Hassan on charges related their work for civil society organizations, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The United States government should press Egypt to drop all charges against Gamal Eid, Hossam Bahgat, Bahey el-din Hassan, as well other human rights defenders working to preserve fundamental freedoms in Egypt,” said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for Middle East and North Africa programs. “President El-Sisi’s efforts to weaken civil society and muffle all dissent are weakening and destabilizing the country.”
The Cairo Criminal Court in Zeinhom is scheduled to reconvene cases postponed since April 20 that would freeze the assets of human rights activists Gamal Eid, Hossam Bahgat, and Bahey el-din Hassan, among others, as part of the government’s five-year campaign against foreign funding of non-governmental organizations, efforts that have led to unprecedented restrictions on freedom of association. Others facing similar charges include Mostafa al-Hassan, manager of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, and Abdel Hafez Tayel, head of the Egyptian Center for Right to Education.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.