Amnesty International called yesterday for the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Egyptian human rights activist Hoda Abdelmonem.
In a tweet, the rights group wrote that Abdelmonem had been forcibly disappeared for 20 days before she appeared in court.
Amnesty reported the account of Abdelmonem’s daughter, detailing what happened to her mother: “On 1 November 2018, [Egyptian] State Security forces broke into the house of Hoda Abdelmonem in Cairo at 1:30 am, ransacked it, and took her blindfolded to her mother’s house.”
It added: “While the Security forces searched her mother’s house, she was left blindfolded in a police vehicle. Hoda was then forcibly taken to an unknown destination.”
Hoda’s daughter witnessed her arrest. The officers confirmed to Hoda’s daughter that they belonged to the Egyptian State Security forces, but did not show an arrest warrant or mention the reason for her arrest, or where she was being taken.
The report continued: “Hoda was not allowed to take any medicines or personal belongings with her. She has a blood clot in her leg and high blood pressure, resulting in repeated instances of imbalance. Hoda’s lawyers have been asking about her fate and whereabouts in different police stations but have been unable to locate her.” Amnesty added:
The authorities denied the fact that Hoda has been arrested and said that they do not know her whereabouts
Hoda Abdelmoniem is a 60-year-old human rights lawyer who volunteers as a consultant for the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF), a prominent human rights organisation. In the last five years, Hoda has been documenting human rights violations, including cases of enforced disappearances.
She is also a lawyer at the Egyptian Cassation and Supreme Constitutional Courts, as well as a former member of the National Council for Human Rights and the Egyptian Bar Association.
Amnesty International believes that Hoda’s activism, as well as her being a member of the defence team in several human rights cases, are the reasons behind her arrest.