Arrest of Hassan Mubarak for charges of membership of an illegal group

In Statements and Position Papersby CIHRS

gaifaruz199914Within the ongoing security campaign of security forces led by the ministry of Interior with the aim of restricting activities of youth groups and persecuting them to force them to abandon their role on exposing human rights violations in Egypt since the 30th of June, as well as exercising their constitutional and legal rights to freedom of expression and gathering, a security force from the artistic productions investigation, Saturday evening, the 30th of May 2015, raided the office of the print house owned by Hassan Mubarak and arrested him under the claim that he is printing books and preparing them for distribution without legal permit from its copy right owners in violation of the law.

The arrest comes in the midst of security investigations regarding a call via social media channels for a public strike launched by activists and youth groups, including the 6th April Movement. The security campaign hopes to abort the call and arrest all those involved in its launch or support.

Earlier today, Monday 1st June 2015, the 6th April Movement had announced on its Facebook page that a number of its members in Cairo and Alexandria have been arrested last night. This will not, however, terrorize the movement, it commented.

The “evidence” taken by the security force from the print house includes a number of zinc plates used in the preparation of printing. The books involved include a publication by the Egyptian Center for Economic and social Rights titled “Above the State.. Multinational Companies in Egypt”, a poetry book titled “On the Back of the Ticket – Shaimaa El Sabbagh”, as well as four books including “Torture in Egypt” by El Nadim Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Torture. Since this “evidence” does not constitute any breach of the law, in view of the legal documents supporting its printing, which were mentioned in the search report “upon proceeding with the search we did not find any publications that violate the law”, and since the penalty specified by the law for any breach in matters related to printing does not exceed payment of a fine and should not include imprisonment, and since the office’s license does not include printing but only the technical preparation for printing, the public prosecution decided to accuse Mr. Hassan Mubarak of criminal charges in order to detain him. The charges include joining an illegal group (6th April Movement), dissemination and advocating for ideas that incite hatred of the regime, both of which have lacked any evidence in the investigation report. The charges are mainly based on state security investigations. An additional charge was the printing of books and preparation for their distribution without legal permit from copyright owners, in violation of law 82/2002 concerning the protection of author’s and related rights. The prosecution decided to detain Mr. Mubarak for 15 days pending investigations.

The undersigned organizations demand that Egyptian authorities immediately release Mr. Hassan Mubarak and stop all forms of harassment of citizens under the pretext of fabricated investigations which target the terrorization of any party that accepts to deal, even commercially, with civil society organizations and activists. The organizations are also deeply convinced that the continuous violation of the constitution and the law will continue to drive the country towards more violence, the price of which will be paid by all Egyptians, especially with the freehand granted security authorities in the absence of any supervision or accountability.

The undersigned organizations:

  1. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression
  2. Arabic Network for human rights Information
  3. El Nadim Center For Management & Rehabilitation of victims of violence
  4. Center for Economic and Social Rights
  5. Egyptian Initative For Personal Rights
  6. Andalus Center for Tolerance and Nonviolence Studies
  7. National Community for Human Rights and Law
  8. Centre for Egyptian Women Legal Assistance
  9. Nazra for Feminist Studies
  10. The Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement
  11. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  12. Egyptian Coalition for the Rights of the Child
  13. Hisham Mubarak Law Center
  14. Land Center for Human Rights
  15. Appropriate Communications Techniques for Development – ACT

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