#SpeakUp4Egypt: Ahead of Human Rights Day on December 10, we invite you to stand with all those in Egypt who are being silenced by the widespread crackdown on freedom of expression.
NGOs estimate that more than 60,000 individuals have been arrested and detained in Egypt since 2013, a majority of whom are deprived of their liberty after merely exercising their right to freedom of expression. The country has become the third worst jailer of journalists worldwide, and since May 2017, more than 400 websites – including those belonging to news outlets and human rights organisations – have been blocked.
In recent years, the authorities have established an extremely restrictive legal framework – including the Anti-Protest Law, the NGO Law, the Antiterrorism Law, and the Press Law – enabling them to severely violate the fundamental rights of their citizens while acting in a climate of complete impunity.
Abductions, secret detention, torture, rape, arbitrary arrests, unfair trials, and summary executions are used against students, journalists, lawyers, professors, human rights defenders, activists, unionists and politicians, in order to instil fear and silence any form of dissent.
As the crackdown on freedom of expression in Egypt reaches unprecedented levels, the Alkarama Foundation dedicates its 2017 annual campaign to the many victims of this repressive crackdown.
By providing facts, figures and legal analyses as well as by highlighting individual cases of violations against individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life, we will show that the crackdown is systematic, widespread and pervasive.
The campaign aims at raising awareness of the breadth and severity of this crackdown while calling upon the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and UN experts – as well as the larger global community – to take a stand.
#SpeakUp4Egypt will start on November 24, 2017 with an open letter to the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights, urging him to publicly condemn this crackdown and to call upon the Egyptian authorities to respect their international human rights obligations. The Alkarama Foundation will subsequently publish a report “How did we get here? Egypt’s crackdown on freedom of expression”. The campaign will run until December 10, 2017 (Human Rights Day) on social media channels, raising awareness of the scale of the crackdown and telling the stories of those at its receiving end.
How can you engage?
Despite several calls by the United Nations human rights mechanisms to end this crackdown, the Egyptian authorities’ violations have continued unabated. It is time for the international community to take a stand and speak up for all those who are being silenced. We call on sister human rights organisations in Egypt and abroad as well as on all those concerned about the situation to #SpeakUp4Egypt.
This campaign should be used as a platform for collective engagement. We welcome all those already engaged in individual campaigns to take part in the common effort with simple steps. You can join us on social media by using the following hashtags: #SpeakUp4Egypt #SpeakUp4-add the name of the victim you are supporting.
We invite you to share information about this crackdown, which is going largely unnoticed. We invite you to put pressure on your own governments to take the Egyptian authorities’ human rights record into consideration in their relationships with Egypt. We invite you to give a voice to those who are being silenced by this crackdown. We invite you to #SpeakUp4Egypt.
© 2017 Alkarama