The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said Friday that it is concerned by the Egyptian administration’s new detention of human rights activists.
OHCHR spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said at a news conference in Geneva that Gasser Abdel Razek, executive director of rights initiative, EIPR, was detained recently, along with Mohamed Basheer and Karim Ennarah, two senior members of the organization who were detained earlier.
Shamdasani said Basheer and Ennarah were accused of spreading false news, using internet accounts to weaken public safety and terror-related crimes. And Basheer was interrogated for providing legal support to victims of human rights violations.
This is not the first time EIPR was targeted by Egyptian authorities, according to the UN official. Patrick George Zaki was arrested in February on alleged terrorism charges.
Shamdasani said Zaki had been kept under custody since his arrest and was reportedly tortured during interrogation and the UN is concerned that other human rights activists could be targeted given that EIPR founder Hossam Bahgat was also banned from leaving Egypt and his assets were frozen.
She said further restrictions on freedom of peacefully gathering and organizing would have a profound effect on the already-weakened Egyptian civil society
The UN is concerned that more than 50 people were executed in October alone and reports suggested that rights of fair trials were violated during procedures.
The international community is critical of the Egyptian administration because of restrictions of freedom and detention of opposition figures.
Cairo claims to abide by judiciary and human rights principles.