By Coptic Solidarity –
Lindsay Griffin of Coptic Solidarity was scheduled to give this speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva last week, but the session was cancelled due to COVID – 19 containment measures.
Mr. President, Mr. Special Rapporteur:
I would like to draw your attention to the numerous prisoners of conscience in the Arab Republic of Egypt such as Coptic human rights activist and blogger, Ramy Kamel; the founder and coordinator of the Maspero Youth Union, an organization aiming at the promotion of equal citizenship rights for all.
Kamel met and collaborated with the UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Leilani Fahra, when she visited Egypt in September 2018. Kamel’s focus was on Christians who have been displaced from their homes by the government’s actions, including counter-terrorism efforts, and faith-based persecution.
Kamel was arrested by security forces at his home on November 23. He was beaten and all his electronic devices confiscated. The following day he was ordered to 15 days detention in Case no. 1475, charged with “joining and financing a terrorist group” amongst other charges. His arrest was clearly meant to prevent him from participating at the UN forum titled Education, Language, and the Human Rights of Minorities hosted in November 2019.
His detention has been renewed every 15 days since arrest without evidence or cause.
A group of eight UN Human Rights experts issued a press release last December, calling on the government of Egypt to end the arbitrary arrest and ill-treatment of Mr. Kamel. What else has the UN and member states done to secure Kamel’s release as he is being tortured and detained for cooperating with this very body?
We strongly urge that Ramy Kamel be immediately released and that all charges against him be dropped. We urge the immediate release of all other prisoners of conscience especially:
- Professor Hazem Hosni
- Alaa Abdel Fattah
- Patrick George Zaki
- Khaled Dawood
- Ziyad Al-Alimi
- Andrew Nassef
- Mostafa Al-Najjar – Forced Disappearance