Newham Teachers’ Association is affiliated to:
From NEU Newham (NUT Section) International Officer and the Egypt Solidarity initiative:
Solidarity with Haitham Mohamedain
Trade unionists, MPs, writers and academics have launched a protest statement calling for the immediate release of Egyptian labour lawyer Haitham Mohamedain who was seized by the security forces from his home on 18 May. Haitham appeared in court the following day and was remanded in custody for 15 days to face interrogation on charges of “inciting protests over the price of Metro tickets”. His detention follows a wave of arrests in the wake of demonstrations against the sharp rise in fares on Cairo’s underground railways.
Speaking out for social justice is not crime. Add your name to the petition demanding Haitham’s immediate release and an end to repression in Egypt.
Sign the petition online at www.egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/solidaritywithhaitham
Statement text: Freedom for Haitham Mohamedain – Stop the repression in Egypt
Early on Friday 18 May, Egyptian security forces stormed the house of labour lawyer and socialist activist Haitham Mohamedain, taking him away to an unknown destination. Haitham is a well-known defender of workers’ rights, and has worked tirelessly to support independent trade unionists facing state persecution for demanding better working conditions and the right to organise and strike. In addition, as Amnesty International notes, he “has been persecuted by the Egyptian authorities for his human rights work”, playing a crucial role in defending the El Nadeem Centre – which supports victims of torture and violence – from harassment and persecution by the authorities.
On Saturday 19 May, Haitham appeared in court and was remanded in custody for 15 days. According to reports from human rights activists in Egypt, he is being interrogated in relation to “incitement to protest over the price of Metro tickets.”
Some who allegedly protested over a recent abrupt rise in fares have been arrested and some subsequently released: others are still being held. It appears that Egypt’s security services have used the opportunity to seize Haitham Mohamedain: we believe that his arrest is designed, once again, to silence voices critical of the current military regime.
We are deeply concerned for Haitham’s well-being, given the well-documented pattern of abuse and torture of detainees by Egyptian security forces. We are appalled that anyone should face detention and prosecution on charges of speaking out for basic human rights. We call on the Egyptian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally and for any charges against him to be dropped.
Further information on this case can be found on the Egypt Solidarity website at:
Middle East Solidarity magazine issue 9
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