GENEVA (8 October 2020) – Egypt is using exceptional “Terrorism Circuit Courts” to target human rights defenders, silence dissent, and to lock up activists during the COVID-19 pandemic, UN human rights experts* said today.

“Terrorism charges and exceptional courts are being used to target legitimate human rights activities, and have a profound chilling effect on civil society as a whole,” the experts said. “The use of terrorism courts to target and harass civil society is inconsistent with the rule of law.”

“We are particularly concerned that human rights defenders and civil society actors who have been charged with terrorism are being detained during this pandemic as a form of de facto punishment, gravely endangering their right to life and the right to be free from torture, inhuman and degrading treatment.”


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