Egypt: After 19 months of pre-trial detention, Patrick Zaki’s trial begins tomorrow before the Emergency Court

In Egypt /Road Map Program, Statements and Position Papers by CIHRS

The undersigned organizations condemn the indictment of Patrick George Zaki by  the State Security Supreme Prosecution (SSSP) on charges of “spreading false news inside and outside of the country”, based on an opinion article published two years ago. Zaki is  a researcher at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

The first trial session will be held tomorrow, Tuesday September 14 2021, before the Mansoura II State Security Misdemeanors (Emergency) Court.  Zaki was indicted based on articles 80 (D), and 102 (bis) of the penal code.

According to the SSSP, the indictment was based on an article published on Daraj, in July 2019, titled “Displacement, Killing and Restriction: A Week’s Diaries of Egypt’s Copts”. The article presents a week in Zaki’s life as a Christian Egyptian citizen reacting to current events concerning the Coptic community in the country, both as a public and personal issue of interest.

Trying Zaki before an exceptional court whose rulings are not subject to appeal, on charges resulting from publishing an article in which he recounts his life as a Christian Egyptian, and after 19 months of remand detention without legal justification, proves that the only reason for denying Zaki his freedom is his practice of the right to free speech in defense of his rights and the rights of all Egyptians — especially Copts– to equality and full citizenship.

The undersigned organizations condemn this attack on Patrick George Zaki, and recognize it as an infringement on the rights of all Egyptians to freedom of expression, and the rights of Christian Egyptians in particular to  demand their right to equality both socially and in front of the law.

And we cannot ignore the irony that Zaki’s indictment and trial before an exceptional court comes the day after the launch of the state’s human rights strategy, in an event in which the president has spoken at length about the right to freedom of religion and belief and the right to equality.

Signatory Organizations:

  1. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
  2. The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
  3. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
  4. Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)
  5. Committee for Justice
  6. Cairo Institute For Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  7. El-Nadeem Centre for Combatting Violence and Torture
  8. Freedom Initiative
  9. Egyptian Front For Human Rights
  10. The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)


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