A number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) signed a statement on Thursday demanding that the state stop retaliatory actions taken against prominent human rights lawyer Malek Adly and called on the state to drop all charges levelled against him.
The undersigned NGOs condemned Adly’s detention and violations committed against him inside prison, holding the president, the Interior Ministry, and the Prisons Authority responsible for his physical safety and called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Raad to intervene to save his life.
The NGOs statement addressed the mistreatment and terrible conditions Adly is suffering under while in detention, clarifying that he has been subjected to physical harm, torture, solitary confinement, and maltreatment by prison authorities. The statement also said that Adly is prohibited from all his rights, ranging from receiving visits or even clothing and food.
The prison officers banned his wife, brother, and lawyers from visiting him during his first 11 days in detention, justifying that these are “orders from sovereign bodies”. Also, Adly has been held in isolation in a poorly ventilated cell since his detention and basic needs were only allowed to him as of Thursday morning, according to the statement.
The NGOs strongly believe that there is ‘’vindictive intent’’ to seek revenge against Adly due to his work on revealing violations in the human rights field, and his criticism of the state in the media.
They also said that what happened during Adly’s most recent detention session was essentially approved by the judge, as the judge rejected listening to the defendant or his lawyers despite their legal rights to speak, in which case led to the defense lawyers immediately withdrawing from the session.
The undersigned organisations consider Adly’s treatment in detention as part of the escalating security crackdown backed by national security agencies to arrest rights defenders and all other persons opposing the current regime, putting their lives in danger in unprecedented ways. NGOs demanded that the state release all persons detained on charges related to freedom of opinion and expression.
Adly was arrested on 5 May on charges of attempting to topple the regime, assaulting an arresting officer, disseminating false news, and inciting anti-government protests among other charges.
The public prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Adly over calls for protests on 25 April, which contested the transfer of sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia. Adly was one of the lawyers who filed a lawsuit against the decision, arguing that it is unconstitutional. He allegedly had several documents that prove that the two islands are Egyptian.