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Egypt: International community must step in to halt the crackdown on human rights, says Amnesty

Amnesty International today issued an urgent call to the international community to step in and halt the real threat to the Egyptian human right movement, following the court decision to freeze the assets of three senior directors from the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

The development comes ahead of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s visit to Paris tomorrow to meet French President Emmanuel Macron. 

The Egyptian court ruled to uphold the Public Prosecutor’s order to freeze the assets of the three EIPR directors Mohamed Basheer, Karim Ennarah and Gasser Abdel Razek – who were released from detention on 3 December in the wake of significant national and international pressure - pending investigations.

This latest blow to EIPR leaves no doubt that the human rights movement in Egypt remains at critical risk amid ongoing arbitrary arrests, criminal investigations, asset freezes and travel bans against staff at civil society organisations.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director, said:

"Though they are now free, these human rights workers should not have spent a single day behind bars, and their release will bring great relief to their families and to Egypt’s embattled human rights community. However, this is a bittersweet victory which highlights the ongoing unjust detention of many other human rights defenders in Egypt.

"Freezing the personal assets of three EIPR directors on the heels of the unprecedented assault on the organisation demonstrates the authorities’ intent to eradicate the Egyptian human rights movement.

“Amid ongoing arbitrary arrests, criminal investigations, asset freezes and travel bans against tens of human rights defenders, members of the international community must ensure sustained coordinated and public pressure on the Egyptian authorities to show their genuine commitment to the survival of the human rights movement in Egypt.”

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