Egypt frees a four-year preventive lawyer for a post on “yellow vests”

Exceptional justice in Egypt on Monday July 25 ordered the release of lawyer Mohammed Ramadan, who has been in pre-trial detention for almost four years for having said that he was in solidarity with the French social movement of “yellow vests“says a human rights NGO.

Mohammed Ramadan, 43, was arrested in September 2018 for posting a photo of himself wearing a yellow vest on Facebook.in solidarity with the demonstrations that were then taking place in France“, reports the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) in Egypt – where demonstrating is prohibited. Mohammed Ramadan – suffering from coronary insufficiency and hypertension which worsened during his detention – had been remanded in custody for “terrorism“.

This regime is legally limited to two years in Egypt, but according to a technique frequently used by judges, he was declared free at this term before being immediately charged, this time for “spreading false information“.

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More than 60,000 prisoners of conscience

For human rights defenders, these accusations and these overruns of the preventive period form the “architecture of repressionof the regime of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, a former marshal who deposed his predecessor, the Islamist Mohamed Morsi, in a coup in 2013. The movement of “yellow vests“, which marched in France against the rise in prices in particular of gasoline, had destabilized the presidency of Emmanuel Macron in 2018-2019. Because of the police violence, the UN had asked “urgently“to France a”thorough investigation of all reported instances of excessive use of force“.

In Egypt, where monster demonstrations followed one another overthrowing several powers until shortly after the election of Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, the movement had been scrutinized to the point of worrying the authorities who had restricted the sale of yellow vests. The most populous country in the Arab world with 103 million inhabitants has more than 60,000 prisoners of conscience according to NGOs.

All eyes will be on Egypt at COP27 scheduled for November, and especially on its treatment of protesters marching for the climate. The regime is preparing to open a “national dialogue“supposed to prove that he”make room for everyonein the words of its organizers. Upstream, he released several dozen pro-democracy figures, many of whom were on preventive action well beyond the legal deadline. On Friday, Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi and Emmanuel Macron met and in particular “addressed the issue of human rights“, according to Paris.


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