EOHR calls upon the Public Prosecutor to suspend investigations of complaints filed against opposition political forces calling for a boycott of the upcoming presidential elections

February 7th, 2018 by Editor

EOHR calls upon the Public Prosecutor to suspend investigations of complaints filed against opposition political forces calling for a boycott of the upcoming presidential elections

 The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its concern regarding the investigation of complaints filed against political parties and forces that called for a boycott of the March 2018 Presidential elections.

Pro government lawyers filed these complaints after a coalition of opposition political parties and entities that identifies itself as the Civil Democratic Movement (CDM) held a press conference where they explicitly announced their boycott of the presidential race and called upon the people to follow suit. The complaints number 1494 and 1547 filed by the pro government lawyers accused CDM of incitement against the state, jeopardizing national security and attempting to unlawfully over throw the government.

The Public Prosecutor launched an investigation into the complaints and issued arrest warrants against the following list of prominent public figures and politicians:

  • Hamdeen Sabahi (Leader of the popular current, ex MP, and former presidential candidate)
  • Yehia Hussein (Retired army officer, former director of the leadership management development center)
  • Medhat el Zahed (Leader of the Democratic Coalition party)
  • Khaled Daoud (Leader of Al Dostour party)
  • Mohamed Sami (Leader of Al Karama party)
  • Daoud Abdel Sayed (Movie director)
  • Farid Zahran (Leader of the Egyptian Democratic party)
  • Ahmed Fawzi Al Amin (Former secretary general of the Egyptian Democratic party)
  • Ahmed el Borai (Former minister of social solidarity)
  • Amr Helmy (Former minister of health)
  • George Ishaq (Member of the national council for human rights, and founder of Kefaya)
  • Ahmed Darag (Political activist and university professor)
  • Abdel Alim Daoud (Vice president of Al Wafd party and ex MP)

EOHR finds these actions deplorable and views the developments as a threat to civil and political freedoms. EOHR stresses that “incitement” to boycott of election according to Egyptian law is not a felony or a minor offense meaning that even though its unlawful it’s not a crime. The calls of CDM members to boycott the elections do not constitute a crime, as not voting is only fined by the law and not criminally punished.

EOHR also insists that these sad developments are truly unprecedented, calls of election boycott by opposition parties were made in previous elections in 2000, 2010 and 2012 however not once was any individual or entity investigated on these grounds.

EOHR calls upon the Public Prosecutor to immediately suspend these investigations and retract measures taken against the aforementioned members of CDM.

Dr. Hafez Abu Seada president of EOHR described calls to boycott the elections as binding to only those individuals and entities that made them and should be treated as a matter of freedom of expression and opinion which is safeguarded by international human rights treaties and conventions.

Abu Seada added that dealing with political forces expressing their opinions with such imprudent hostility gives a troubling impression that the government of Egypt does not uphold basic rights and freedoms and muzzles freedom of expression.

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018 at 3:47 pm and is filed under Statements. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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