NPWJ welcomes the provisional release of Patrick Zaki and urges Egyptian authorities to drop all charges

8 Dec, 2021 | Press Releases

The Egyptian court in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura finally ordered the provisional release of Patrick Zaki, the thirty-year-old Egyptian activist and researcher arrested on 7 February 2020 after landing at Cairo’s international airport on a visit to see his family.

For over a year and a half, Zaki was held in pretrial detention waiting for his trial – which was subject to several adjournments – to face a range of charges, including “spreading false news”, “harming national security” and “incitement to overthrow the state”. According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) – Cairo-based NGO with which Zaki had been working – during his time in jail the researcher was beaten, subject to electric shocks and threatened. His trial is scheduled to resume on 1 February 2022.

NPWJ urges the Egyptian authorities to drop all the spurious charges against Patrick Zaki, which are intended to punish him solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and his human rights activism. We also call for the release of all activists, journalists and human rights defenders arbitrarily imprisoned, whose only “crime” is to advocate openly and peacefully for meaningful democratic reforms and the respect of human rights in their country.

Since 2013, the Egyptian regime has embarked on a brutal crackdown on dissent, harassing, persecuting and jailing thousands of activists through an endless misuse of the justice system and the total dismantling of any notion of the rule of law under the guise of action-wide state of emergency that gives security forces unprecedented powers. The international community should take immediate concrete steps to ensure that the Egyptian regime abides by its obligations under international human rights laws and stops imposing strict censorship measures which impede the democratic expression of the aspirations of its people.