Posted on 1 October 2019
The Centre for Applied Human Rights expresses its concern over the arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance of human rights defender Mohamed El-Baqer, a lawyer and the Director of Adalah Centre for Rights and Freedoms that took place on Sunday 29 September 2019 in Cairo, Egypt. Mr El-Baqer was arrested at the State Security Prosecution premises when he was attending an investigation hearing with his client Mr Alaa Abdel Fattah.
Both Mr El-Baqer and his client were accused under the Criminal Case 1356 of 2019 State Security Prosecution on charges of "belonging to a terrorist group", "funding a terrorist group", "spreading false news undermining national security" and "using social media to commit publishing offenses". Both were given 15 days of preventive detention pending investigation. Their place of detention remains unknown, and their family and lawyers have not been given access to them.
The arrests if Mr El-Baqer and Mr Fattah come amid a large campaign of arrests that has followed from demonstrations calling President al-Sisi to step down. At least 2,200 people have been arrested since 20 September 2019 and among them are also other human rights defenders.
The Centre for Applied Human Rights urges the Egyptian government to immediately disclose Mr El-Baqer's and Mr Fattah's place of detention, and to given them access to their family and lawyer. The Centre for Applied Human Rights further urges the Egyptian government to release Mr El-Baqer and Mr Fattah and other human rights defenders immediately and unconditionally.