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Protect health care workers in Egypt

In Egypt health care workers are being arrested, prosecuted and sanctioned for speaking out. Take action and support the health care workers at the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis.

So far, at least nine health care workers have been arrested for raising safety concerns and criticizing the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. They are being detained under vague charges of "spreading false news" and "terrorism". The Egyptian authorities have subjected health care workers who speak out to arbitrarily detentions, threats, harassment and punitive administrative measures.

Dr Hany Bakr and Dr Ahmad Sabra were arrested in April and are under pre-trial detention for criticizing the government on social media. Dr Ibrahim Badawi is also in pre-trial detention after security forces raided his home and took him away.

Arrests for raising concerns about the health system were happening even before COVID-19. Dentist Ahmad al-Daydamouny, member of the September 2019 "Egypt's doctors are angry" campaign, is in jail right now for denouncing online poor remuneration and working conditions, and inadequate health facilities.

Right now, health care workers are forced to make an impossible choice: risk their lives or face prison if they speak out.

The Egyptian authorities must immediately stop their campaign of harassment against frontline health care workers who express safety concerns or criticize the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

Take action now and send a message in support to protect frontline health care workers in Egypt.

Call on public prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi to:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release Dr Hany Bakr, Dr Ahmad Sabra, Dr Ibrahim Badawi, Dentist Ahmad al-Daydamouny and all health workers detained solely for expressing their views.
  • Close all investigations against health care workers under overly broad and vague charges, including ‘false news’ and ‘terrorism’.