HRM welcomes the acquittal of human rights lawyers Abdu Aziz Yusuf on November 16th, 2015 which was announced after the third hearing.
The 28 year old lawyer was arrested during a crackdown against freedom of opinion defense lawyers. His home in Belbes, Sharqia was stormed on August 18th, 2015 and he was taken into custody.
Security agents subjected him into enforced disappearance and his whereabouts remained unknown for 24 hours. Information circulated allowing he was tortured at the Belbes Police Station. His family submitted several complaints to the prosecutor and attorney general and Sharqeya chief of security informing them of the random arrest and disappearance of their son.
According to the Interior Ministry the security apparatus in Sharqeya announced that the lawyer incited violence in coordination with an outlawed terrorist group despite stating earlier that he was not in their custody. He remained missing for hours before he was brought before prosecution and was issued a 15 day detention order pending investigation after being charged with belonging to an outlawed group and protesting without permit in case number 2309 for 2015.
His family and colleagues confirmed that the lawyer was not affiliated with any political group or political trend highlighting that his arrest indicated the oppression by authorities in Egypt of human rights lawyers and activists defending political detainees. The action aims to thwart the lawyers from performing their jobs and endangering them.
For its part HRM calls on the authorities to release all activists and freedom rights lawyers. Over 350 lawyers remain arbitrarily detained in prisons and detention centres simply for doing their work and defending those who express their opinion. HRM stresses that expressing your opinion or defending those with a cause is not a crime. It urgesauthorities to respect the profession and to create conditions appropriate for them to perform their jobs.
Moreover HRM calls on the authorities to respect the constitution and ratified international convention which criminalizes the abduction, arbitrary arrest and disappearance and torture. It calls for cooperation with other human rights organizations to work towards the implementing of article 51, 52, 55 and 99 of the Egyptian constitution which highlight the illegality of torture in all its forms.