The Egyptian Organization for Human rights (EOHR) calls on the attorney general to open an immediate investigation on the abuses of the security forces towards the lawyers

April 27th, 2016 by Editor

The Egyptian Organization for Human rights (EOHR) calls on the attorney general to open an immediate investigation on the abuses of the security forces towards the lawyers

EOHR expresses its deep condemnation concerning the abuses of the security forces toward a number of lawyers which occurred the last Tuesday in front of Al Dokki police station. Moreover, EOHR confirms that what happened is considered to be a clear violation to the Egyptian constitutional regulations and laws.

Furthermore, EOHR calls on the attorney general to open an immediate investigation with regard to this incident.

As one of the lawyers wanted to enter the police station to follow the case of one of the arrested detainee who was charged with participating in the 25th April demonstrations. Consequently the police officer banned him from entering the mentioned police station which led to the broke out of a verbal dispute then the police officer beat the lawyer which prompted the direct involvement of the other lawyers.

As a result, a hand to hand fights started between the lawyers and the police officers which led the lawyers called “Abd Al Rahman Al khodri” and “Hazem salah Aldin” to faint.

Notably, the public prosecution is operational now with the arrested protestors participated in the 25th of April demonstrations as those defendants are charged with Rioting, mob and holding demonstration without permission.

EOHR believes that what happened is considered to be a violation to the constitutional article no.198 that states “The legal profession is an independent profession. It participates with the judiciary in achieving justice and the rule of law, and ensuring the right to defense. It is practiced independently  by  lawyers,  and  lawyers  of  public  sector  and  public  business  sector agencies  and  companies.  While  undertaking  the  right  of  defense  before  courts,  all lawyers  enjoy  the  guarantees  and  protection  granted  to  them  by  law,  which  also apply  to  them  before  investigation  and  trial  authorities.  Except  in  cases  of  flagrante delicto,  arresting  or  detaining  lawyers  while  exercising  their  right  of  defense  is prohibited. The foregoing is organized by law.”

Moreover, what happened also is considered to be a violation to the international conventions as the Article no. 14 of the international covenant on political and civil rights that guaranteed that everyone charged with a criminal case should have adequate time and facilities for the preparation of his defense and to communicate with counsel of his own choosing. As well as the International Commission of Jurists that stated “It is the duty of lawyers in every country, both in the conduct of their practice and in public life, to help ensure the existence of a responsible legislature elected by democratic process and an independent, adequately remunerated judiciary, and to be always vigilant in the protection of civil liberties and human rights”.

Also Lagos conference of jurists had emphasized on the necessity that the legal profession should be free from any external interventions to ensure the principle of the supremacy of law. The same was included in the UN fundamental principles -concerning the role of lawyers and the protection of their duties- that stated “1- Governments shall ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference; 2- are able to travel and to consult with their clients freely both within their own country and abroad”.

EOHR confirms that the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and opinion practiced correctly is guaranteed by all the international conventions such as what was mentioned in the international covenant on the civil and political rights (1966) Article no.21 “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognized. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (order public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others”. The same was ensured in the article no.20 in the universal declaration on human rights “Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association”.

Accordingly, EOHR stressed that the use of the Egyptian protest law by this way will be considered a clear restriction to the citizens’ right of peaceful assembly and a clear relapse to the acquisitions of 25th and 30th revolutions that called for respecting the Egyptian citizens’ rights and freedoms.

Therefore, EOHR calls on the Egyptian government to review and amend the protest law in particular the severe penalties imposed on the peaceful protesters. In this respect, EOHR calls on the government to a temporarily suspend the use of that law during the amendment process.

As a Pursuant to the international conventions and the Egyptian constitution EOHR is stressing on the necessity of opening investigations regarding the abuses of the police officers against the mentioned lawyers.

On his part, Hafez Abu Seada –President of EOHR- confirmed that one of the major duties of the lawyers is to exert his best effort and care to defend his client and perform his mission. As the lawyers’ Act mentioned in the Article no. 63 that the lawyer is obliged to defend the cases presented to him and exert his best effort defending his clients and their interests.

Abu seada added that what happened is a clear violation to the constitution that guaranteed the legal protection for the lawyers during their working within the Prosecutions and the tribunals accordingly anyone violating or restricting the state of justice or the supremacy of law should hold accountable.






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