Egypt: Human rights organizations condemn brazen assault and likely kidnapping or assassination attempt of Judge Hisham Genena

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


The undersigned organizations unequivocally condemn the brazen assault of Judge Hisham Genena, the Human Rights Affairs Deputy of potential presidential candidate Sami Anan and former Head of the Central Auditing Organization, on Saturday morning January 27th.  Genena’s face was severely fractured and cut, and his leg broken in what appears to be the latest reprisal in a coordinated retaliatory campaign by Egypt’s security forces against every individual who has thus far ventured to challenge current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the upcoming presidential elections. The assault represents state intimidation of Genena and his family, and is feared by the signatory organizations to be an assassination or kidnapping attempt.

Genena had just left his home in suburban Cairo (New Cairo) to attend an appeal hearing against his 2016 dismissal by President al-Sisi as head of the Central Auditing Organization when a group of civilian-clothed men – in two cars without license plates–brutally attacked him with knives. The assault comes less than a week after the arrest  of potential presidential candidate and former Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Sami Anan, for whose halted campaign Genena was appointed as a deputy. In an act of further reprisal, security forces raided the family home of Anan’s office director Mustafa al-Shal, and after failing to find and arrest him, arrested his brother instead and then transferred him to National Security.

Security sources claim that the attack on Judge Genena and his resultant injuries were caused by a quarrel following a traffic collision, a claim categorically denied by Genena’s lawyer Ali Taha, who further confirmed he himself had been assaulted. Adding to the duplicity of security source claims circulating in the media, the officers at the police station in New Cairo refused, for over four hours, to treat Genena’s continuous bleeding and severe injuries or to transfer him to a hospital, despite the presence of an ambulance in front of the station. Genena was finally transferred to the hospital and Taha headed to the Attorney General’s office to file a report of the assault. Taha emphasized that security source statements aim to reverse his client’s legal status from a victim of a murder attempt to a criminal suspect in a traffic-related quarrel.

Violent and sometimes lethal retaliatory campaigns area systematic practice of Egypt’s security apparatus, a practice that has intensified under President al-Sisi. Political opponents have been killed outside the law, more than once using the word “liquidation” to refer to these extrajudicial executions, such as the execution of nine Muslim Brotherhood members inside their homes, without any respect for due process or the law.

While the signatory organizations hold the security authorities responsible for the safety of Judge Hisham Genena, they demand an end to the retaliation, threats, and intimidation against the campaigns of potential presidential candidates, all of whom have been forcibly disqualified from what has become simply a rigged “referendum to renew fealty to the sitting president.”The signatories further demand the disclosure of former Chief of Staff Sami Anan’s whereabouts together with ending the search for Anan’s office director Mustafa al-Shal, and releasing his brother from prison.

Signatory organizations:

  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  • The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR)
  • Al Nadeem Center against Violence and Torture
  • Andalus Institute for Tolerance and anti-Violence Studies (AITAS)
  • Hisham Mubarak Law Center
  • Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)
  • Arab Penal Reform Organization (APRO)
  • Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)

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