Alkarama launches its 2016 Annual Report.

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As the Egyptian authorities are under heavy criticism from rights groups and UN experts due to widespread violations of fundamental rights, on 7 June 2017, six students saw their death sentences upheld by the Court of Cassation in the “Mansoura Guard Killing Case”, after a seriously flawed trial solely based on coerced statements obtained under brutal torture. Should the death sentences be carried out, their execution would be summary and constitute a severe violation of Egypt’s human rights obligations.

On 13 May 2017, following popular protests, the Iraqi Parliament decided to indefinitely postpone the vote on the Draft law on freedom of expression and peaceful demonstrations, a text that restricts the fundamental rights and freedoms of Iraqi citizens.

Dr Hanane Baderraddine Abdalhafez Othman, a doctor in biology and human rights defender, was arrested on 6 May 2017 by members of the National Security Services at the Al Qanater Al Khayriyah Prison, where she went to inquire about the fate and whereabouts of her disappeared husband. This women, who is also very active in providing assistance and support to other women whose relatives were victims of enforced disappearance, was charged with “belonging to a banned group” and “forming a women’s organisation”.

On 22 May 2017, Alkarama, along with the SAM Observatory for Rights and Liberties, sent a joint communication to the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (SR SUMX) regarding the execution of three men in Sana’a by the Houthi-Saleh coalition.

Farah Abadid Hildid, Naguib Ali Gouradi, Mohamoud Mohamed Daher and Ibrahim Abdi Indayareh, the four members of the Movement for Democratic Renewal and Development (MDRD), who were sentenced to two months of imprisonment on 28 March 2017 and detained at the Gabode prison, were finally released on 10 May 2017 pending final decision of the Djibouti Court of Appeal.

Hamzeh Bani-Issa, 30 year-old Jordanian teacher in primary school, has been detained for more than six months merely for his alleged political opinion. Accused of “membership to an unauthorised organisation”, on 12 June 2017, Jordan’s State Security Court (SSC) is to deliver its judgment on his case.

Arrested on 19 May 2017 for a Facebook post criticising corruption within the Jordanian government and charged with “defamation on social media”, Hussam Al Abdallat is at risk of being sentenced to prison terms for merely having exercised his right to freedom of expression.

Tarek Milad Mohamed Al Gadhafi, human rights defender and former Deputy Minister of Awqaf, was abducted on 30 May 2017 by members of the police intervention of Abu Salim, affiliated to the officially recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) led by Fayez El Sarraj. Al Gadhafi is disappeared since and his relatives, who have tried to inquire about his fate and whereabouts, are extremely concerned as the forces continue to deny his detention. They fear that he might be at risk of ill-treatment, torture or even execution. 

In April 2017, Abdessalam Al Bakkali was sentenced to death after a flawed trial by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) for alleged “terrorist acts”, for which he had already been sentenced by the US occupation forces and served his penalty.

As organizations working to protect the rights of children in armed conflict, we are dismayed by your reported decision to “freeze” any new additions of parties to conflict that commit grave violations of children’s rights to the annexes to your 2017 annual report to the United Nations Security Council on children and armed conflict. We urge you to reconsider, and issue an updated list with your report, including all perpetrators responsible for patterns of grave violations against children in 2016.