Human rights defender


ThemePolitical Prisoners & Right to a Fair TrailCountryEgypt

Mona is a well-known human rights activist and co-founder of the group ‘No Military Trials for Civilians.’ Her organisation helps victims of unfair military and civil trails, and victims of torture and other human rights violations committed by the Egyptian state. The organisation is also committed to the abolition of the death penalty in the country.

About Mona

Human rights violations in Egypt

Since 2014, Egypt has been characterized by an intense crackdown on its civil society. The authorities use all instruments available to curtail any dissent or opposition to their regime. The security forces in the country are also complicit in the disappearance, arrest and torture of dissidents.[1] Moreover, thousands of government critics and human rights defenders are reportedly detained, many in lengthy pretrial detention.[2] Moreover, the COVID-19 outbreak further worsened the already horrible conditions in Egyptian prisons.[3]

Threats and challenges

Mona is originally a researcher in cancer biology. In 2019, she was forced to stop with her work as a researcher and had to start focusing completely on raising awareness on wrongful detentions in Egypt, and in particular on the detention of her brother (since September 2019) and sister (since June 2020). Mona herself has been arrested several times in the past and received a suspended sentence. During her stay in the Netherlands she would like to focus on rest and respite.

[1] Human Rights Watch, World Report 2021: Egypt (2021)

[2] Front Line Defenders, Egypt (2021) and Human Rights Watch, World Report 2021: Egypt (2021)

[3] Human Rights Watch, Egypt: Apparent Covid-19 Outbreaks in Prisons (2020)

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