How can Sisi face the UN having violated its human rights recommendations

Alaa Abdel Fattah's family asks: how can Sisi face the UN having violated its human rights recommendations

As he addresses the UN general assembly today, does Sisi even remember that the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (established by the UN Human Rights Council) adopted an opinion, on the 19th of April 2016, that the imprisonment of Alaa Abdel Fattah is arbitrary detention.

On the 23d of February 2016 a special circuit of the Cairo criminal court, that tries cases of terrorism and public demonstrations, in a session held at the Tora Institute for Police Officers, sentenced Alaa to 5 years imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years probation and a fine of 100000 Egyptian Pounds. Alaa had already spent several months in pretrial detention, and is now serving the rest of his term at one of the 8 prisons that form the Tora Detention Facility (3anbar El-Zera3a), he will have completed half his term on the 27th of September 2016.

For the past two years the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has examined the information it received about the circumstances surrounding Alaa’s arrest, his detention, his trial and his sentence in the case, known to the media of the Shura Council demonstration. The working group referred the allegations it received to the Egyptian government and noted its answer. It reached the opinion that:
The Working Group considers that the detention of Mr. Alaa Ahmed Seif al Islam Abdel Fattah is arbitrary and falls under 

categories I, II and III of the categories applied by the Working Group in the consideration of the cases brought to its attention.
In conformity with this Opinion, the Working Group recommends the Government to provide with an adequate reparation to Mr. Alaa Ahmed Seif al Islam Abdel Fattah, starting with his immediate release.
The Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was established in resolution 1991/42 of the Commission on Human Rights, which extended and clarified the Working Group’s mandate in its resolution 1997/50. The Human Rights Council assumed the mandate in its decision 1/102 and extended it for a three-year period in its resolution 15/18 of 30 September 2010. The mandate was extended for a further three years in resolution 24/7 of 26 September 2013.
The working group considers detention to be arbitrary in 5 cases, 3 of which it found applicable in Alaa’s case:
(a) When it is clearly impossible to invoke any legal basis justifying the deprivation of liberty (as when a person is kept in detention after the completion of his sentence or despite an amnesty law applicable to him) (category I);
(b) When the deprivation of liberty results from the exercise of the rights or freedoms guaranteed by articles 7, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20 and 21 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and, insofar as States parties are concerned, by articles 12, 18, 19, 21, 22, 25, 26 and 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (category II);
(c) When the total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial, established in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the relevant international instruments accepted by the States concerned, is of such gravity as to give the deprivation of liberty an arbitrary character (category III);
The full report is available at

In addition to Alaa, 3 young men charged in the Shura Council demonstration case are still serving sentences: Ahmed Abd-El-Rahman (5 years), Abd-El-Rahman Tareq (3 years) and Abd-El-Rahman Sayed Mohamed (3 years).

Finally Alaa is now on trial for “Insulting the Judiciary”. The charges he is facing in this case may result in a prison sentence of up to 3 years. The next session of this trial is scheduled to take place on the 22nd of September 2016, at the Police Academy in New Cairo.

Alaa Abdel Fattah’s Family.
20 September 2016