Egypt: UN Calls for Release of Student and Denounces Pattern of Arbitrary Detention

EGY - News | 02 November 2016

In late August 2016, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), a group of independent experts, adopted Opinion n°42/2016; in which they qualify the detention of Ahmed Yousry Zaky, an Egyptian student who was arrested on 5 May 2015, as "arbitrary". After having reviewed the communication sent by Alkarama on 11 May 2016, and faced with the lack of answer from the Egyptian Government, the UN experts ruled that the Egyptian authorities was violating the student's fundamental rights and consequently called upon them to immediately release him. Importantly, the Opinion further manifests the Working Group's concern over a pattern of arbitrary detention in the country.

10 Years On: Jordan’s Anti-Terrorism Law and the Crackdown on Dissent

JOR - News | 01 November 2016

Ten years ago, on 1 November 2006, Jordan enacted the "Prevention of Terrorism Act", in response to the 2005 hotel bombings in Amman that left 60 people dead. In 2014, faced with threats stemming from the spillover of the Syrian war, the law was amended and broadened to include nonviolent acts, in an attempt to legitimise the government's crackdown on peaceful expression and assembly. Journalists, political opponents, freedom of expression advocates and human rights defenders have since been put to trial under the pretext of "terrorism".

Lebanon: Parliament Approves Law Instituting a National Human Rights Institution and a National Preventive Mechanism Against Torture

Lebanon | 28 October 2016

On 19 October 2016, the Lebanese Parliament approved a law creating an independent National Commission for Human Rights, Lebanon's National Human Rights Institution (NHRI), which includes a National Preventive Mechanism (NPM), an independent body mandated to improve the conditions of those deprived of liberty by visiting places of detention. The law, that followed several recommendations issued by UN human rights mechanisms in that regard, finally provides Lebanon with two essential independent bodies supposed to enhance the protection and promotion of human rights.

Djibouti: Release of Cheik Ali after Three Months of Arbitrary Detention

DJI - News | 27 October 2016

On 24 October 2016, Djiboutian authorities released Abdi Aden Cheik Ali, a citizen who had been arbitrarily arrested on 20 July 2016 in Ali-Sabieh following the dissemination of a video denouncing the lack of water in the region, after more than three months in arbitrary detention. Upon release, he claimed having been detained in very difficult conditions. Alkarama had already referred his case, on 10 August 2016, to the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression (SR FRDX), in order to call for his release after he had been sentenced by the Djiboutian authorities to three months imprisonment.

Lebanon: Release on Bail of a Minor Tortured by the Military Intelligence

LBN - News | 27 October 2016

On 25 October 2016, Walid Diab, a 18-year-old Lebanese citizen from Tripoli, was released from the juvenile section of Roumieh prison where he was detained, following a release order issued the same day by the Juvenile Court in Tripoli. Arrested in 2014 when he was still a minor, Walid was accused for being a "member of a terrorist group" by the Military Court sitting in Beirut on the sole basis of information extracted under torture.  Concerned over the arbitrary character of his detention, Alkarama had sent Walid's case to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) on 29 August 2016 demanding for its urgent intervention with the Lebanese authorities. His case was then transferred to the Juvenile Court in Tripoli in September 2016.

Egypt: Court of Cassation Upholding Morsi’s Sentence Despite UN Call for His Release

EGY - News | 25 October 2016

On 25 October 2016, Alkarama solicited the urgent intervention of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) with regards to the final sentencing to 20 years in prison of former President Mohamed Morsi and other members of his staff, as a result of an Egyptian Court of Cassation's ruling on 22 October 2016.

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