Posted on 9 December 2016
In the academic year 2015/16 the Centre for Applied Human Rights hosted the Egyptian human rights lawyer and women's rights defender Azza Soliman on its Protective Fellowship Scheme for Human Rights Defenders at Risk. She is the founder and board member of the Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA), a feminist organisation campaigning to promote gender equality.
On the morning of 7 December 2016 Azza Soliman was arrested by police officers from her home, taken to a Cairo police Station, and subsequently to an investigative judge's office for questioning. Her arrest warrant was signed by one of the judges investigating Egyptian human rights NGOs that have received foreign funding. She was released on bail in the evening of Wednesday 7th, pending investigations into her alleged involvement in receiving illegal foreign funding "with the aim of harming national security, founding an illegal entity engaging in NGO activities and tax evasion".
Azza Soliman's arrest came three weeks after her personal and her organisation's assets were frozen, and she was issued with a travel ban.
The Centre for Applied Human Rights condemns the Egyptian authorities' actions against Azza Soliman for conducting her legitimate human rights work. We are deeply concerned by what appears to be a crackdown on Egyptian human rights defenders and civil society.
For those who wish to act in solidarity with Azza Soliman, please visit Frontline Defenders' page on Azza Soliman.
For more information on Azza Soliman's case: