Geneva (January 25, 2018) – Marking the seven-year anniversary of the beginning of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, the Alkarama Foundation has today published an extensive report on Egypt’s widespread and pervasive crackdown on freedom of expression.
Since the country’s military takeover of July 3, 2013, it is estimated that more than 60,000 individuals have been arrested, a majority for acts of free speech. Enforced disappearances, torture, unfair trials, arbitrary detentions, as well as summary and extrajudicial executions are among the severe human rights violations carried out in complete impunity by the authorities in order to stifle dissent.
Making Silence the Law of the Land: Egypt’s crackdown on freedom of expression aims at explaining the process through which Egypt – a country whose revolution inspired many – has become a country in which a culture of silence and fear has been imposed.
Through a detailed analysis of Egypt’s repressive legal framework – which includes the Anti-Protest Law, the Anti-Terrorism Law, the Press Law and the NGO Law – the report begins by explaining how the Egyptian authorities have enacted legislation to criminalise the peaceful exercise of fundamental freedoms. The report also tells the stories of victims from all walks of life – including students, journalists, human rights defenders, activists and political opponents – arbitrarily arrested and subjected to the most serious abuses at the hands of security services. Finally, the report explains how this crackdown on freedom of expression has been made possible by the strict control of information sharing, notably through the censorship of media outlets, but also by the extensive surveillance of online communication.
The publication of the report follows Alkarama’s 2017 international advocacy campaign #SpeakUp4Egypt, dedicated to raising awareness of this repressive crackdown. Together with the campaign, the report aims at fostering a better understanding of the situation in Egypt among the international community, and raising awareness of Egypt’s continuing assault on fundamental human rights.
“It is of utmost importance that policy makers and the global public be made aware of this crackdown, which has gone largely unnoticed,” said Khadidja Nemar, Alkarama’s Regional Legal Officer for the Maghreb and Nile regions. “We hope the detailed analysis provided in this report will help shed light on the plight of a society which inspired the world to believe in the very fundamental rights and democratic principles that are brutally denied to them today.”
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