Week in solidarity with 'Land Detainees' launches with event for rights lawyer Adly

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Jul 2016

Campaign in solidarity with activists arrested in protests against the 8 April Red Sea islands deal starts with an event held by The Egyptian Social Democratic Party in solidarity with rights lawyer Malek Adly

Rights lawyer Malek Adly (Photo: ahram Hebdo)
Rights lawyer Malek Adly (Photo: ahram Hebdo)

A campaign in solidarity with activists arrested for links to April demonstrations protesting a government deal to hand over two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia was launched Sunday.

The week is set to start with an event held by The Egyptian Social Democratic Party in solidarity with detained rights lawyer and party member Malek Adly, arrested for statements he made against the government's decision.

Adly is one of the lawyers who co-filed the lawsuit against the deal. He has been accused of spreading false news and harming national unity and societal peace.

Similarly, journalists Amr Badr and Mahmoud El-Sakka were arrested from the journlaist syndicate while staging a sit-in after an arrest warrant was issued against them on charges of "spreading rumors about the disputed Red Sea islands Tiran and Sanafir." 

Hundreds more were arrested during street protests against the decision, but most were acquitted or released on bail pending trial. 

While bringing attention to the "Land Detainees" -- a term used by campaigners to defend those arrested during demonstrations against the islands deal -- the Sunday event also plans to highlight the issue of solitary confinement.  

Adly has been kept in solitary confinement since his arrest in May.

The lawyer's wife, Asmaa Ali, released several statements saying that her husband has not been allowed to leave his unlit, unventilated prison cell since his arrest. His health is deteriorating because his family has not been allowed to provide him with a bed or a mattress, and, according to her statements, he has to sleep on the ground.

A campaign, named "No to Solitary Confinement", has taken social media over the past month to bring attention to tens of other detainees facing the same prison status as Adly.

The week of solidarity will be hosted by several opposition parties and movements including the Nasserist Karama Party and the liberal Constitution Party.

Hossam Moenes of the Popular Current movement says the campaign has been planned by the Front in Defence of Freedoms, founded last February by a collection of opposition parties and groups.

"Each party or group will host one day of the week. Focus will be given to the solitary confinement of detainees and testimonies of families whose members have been arrested or are facing charges linked to the island deal protests," Moenes told Ahram Online.

Adly's solidarity campaign has over the past months also been supported by several media and political figures that have slammed his detention and criticized the government's decision to hold him.

Last April, the government announced a decision to acknowledge Saudi Arabian sovereignty over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.

In June, a court ruled that the 8 April border re-demarcation agreement that placed the two Egyptian Red Sea islands in Saudi waters is void, adding that they should remain under Egyptian sovereignty. 

The government has however insisted on its stand regarding the islands, arguing they belong to Saudi Arabia. Egypt's State Lawsuits Authority – the body representing the government in legal cases – has appealed the ruling that voided the government decision to place the two Red Sea islands under Saudi Arabia's sovereignty. 

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