Imprisoned for protesting – Hivos supports Egyptian women activists

October 23, 2014

Hivos, together with over 220 other women’s and human rights organisations, is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of seven female human rights activists from Egypt. They were arrested on June 21, 2014 during a public protest against the new Egyptian  Protest and Public Assembly Law. They are accused of breaking this repressive law and charged with the crime of “threatening public safety and the use of violence and terror against civilians.”

The prominent human rights activists Yara Sallam, Sanaa Seif, Hanan Mohamed Mustafa, Salwa Mihriz, Samar Ibrahim, Nahid Sherif and Fikreya Mohamed have been detained since their arrest in the Qanater prison in Cairo. Two of them are on hunger strike and are in poor health. Their trial has been postponed several times, and the next session – due to be held last week – was adjourned until 26 October, when it is expected a sentence will be issued.

The trial of these activists exemplifies the increasingly repressive context in which human rights organisations and activists find themselves in Egypt. Hivos supports the right of all citizens around the world to express their views, protest and organise. We therefore support these seven women in their struggle for a democratic and just Egypt. Like so many other activists in Egypt, they do not belong in prison, and we join the call of many other voices for the Egyptian authorities to release them and to allow room for an active, dynamic and critical civil society.

The text of the statement and the signatories is available as pdf in the documents box to the right. Those interested in publicising the statement are encouraged to post it on their websites and to distribute it broadly to their networks including to media outlets. The hashtag #FreeEgyptWHRDs can be used in this regard on social media.