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Egypt lawyer Amr Iman arrested at home

Egyptian police forces [file photo]
Egyptian police forces stand guard outside a court [File photo]

Egyptian lawyer Amr Iman has been arrested from his house shortly after declaring he would start a hunger strike in solidarity with detained Egyptian activists.

Amr had announced that he would strike in protest against the treatment of activists Israa Abdel Fattah and Alaa Abdel Fattah and his lawyer Mohamed Al-Baqer.

Prominent Egyptian activist Israa Abdelfattah, who was kidnapped from a street in Cairo last weekend, has told prosecutors how she was beaten and strangled when she refused to give the password to her phone and when she did, was forced to stay in a standing position for nearly eight hours.

Alaa was arrested at the end of September from the police station where he was completing his probation. He later told his lawyers that he had been beaten, threatened and robbed inside prison and that his treatment would get worse if he spoke out.

Egypt: Israa Abdelfattah strangled in custody

At the time Amr, who witnessed Alaa’s arrest, said: “This is a blatant violation against lawyers… lawyers are immune while working, just like judges and prosecutors. As a lawyer, I am afraid about getting arrested right now.”

Amr has now become one of the lawyers to be swept up in the latest crackdown carried out by Egyptian authorities since 20 September.

Over 12 days Egyptian authorities carried out the biggest crackdown yet under Sisi’s rule, arresting over 2,300 people, including at least 111 children.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi at the House of Representatives in Cairo, Egypt on 2 June 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi at the House of Representatives in Cairo, Egypt on 2 June 2018 [Egyptian President Office/Apaimages]

As he was attending Alaa’s investigation session his lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer was arrested at the State Security Prosecution. He appeared with Alaa on 1 October at Tora Maximum Security Prison 2.

Al-Baqer is a prominent human rights lawyer and director of the Adala and Liberties Centre.

On 22 September the award-winning human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry was arrested outside the state security prosecutor’s headquarters in Cairo where she had been representing detainees arrested during the demonstrations.

El-Massry has already been in prison twice including in December 2013 after the coup. She was also sentenced to a year in prison in 2015.

Mohamed Younes, who was going to request an investigation into the accusations against President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi made by Mohamed Ali, was arrested on 11 September.

The Sisi regime has been imprisoning lawyers long before the September protests. Director of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, the lawyer Ezzat Ghoneim, has been detained since 4 September 2018.

READ: Egypt teens kill 18-year-old who defended sexual harassment victim

In March this year, lawyer Azouz Mahgoub had a nervous breakdown in prison, which sparked renewed calls for his release. Mahgoub was arrested alongside Ghoneim after representing Um Zubeida, who featured in a BBC documentary about enforced disappearances and recounted the kidnap and rape of her daughter.

The 60-year-old lawyer and former member of the official National Council for Human Rights Hoda Abdelmoneim was arrested on 1 November 2018.

Human rights lawyer Ibrahim Ezz Al-Din, a researcher for the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, has been forcibly disappeared since 11 June this year after he was arrested near his home in the Mokattam neighbourhood.

It is believed that he was arrested in connection to his criticism of the government’s urban planning policies towards shanty towns.

In 2016 the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales wrote an open letter to Al-Sisi condemning Egypt’s ongoing arrest and detention of lawyers.

Egypt protesters call on Sisi to step down - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Egypt protesters call on Sisi to step down – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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