Egypt: Labour rights lawyer Haytham Mohamdeen arrested and held incommunicado

Responding to the overnight arrest of human rights and labour lawyer, Haytham Mohamdeen, Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns Director, Najia Bounaim, said:

“Given the ongoing clampdown on dissent that has continued unabated since the presidential election, we are deeply concerned by Haytham Mohamdeen’s arrest from his home early this morning. Haytham has defended hundreds of workers who have been persecuted for forming independent unions and agitating for better work conditions. He has been persecuted by the Egyptian authorities for his human rights work, including at the El-Nadeem Centre many times.

“The Egyptian authorities are known for using arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance to punish human rights lawyers and members of the opposition. As such there is a real possibility he is being ill-treated in detention by the authorities right now. We call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Haytham Mohamdeen and to provide information about his whereabouts and wellbeing.

“This appears to be yet another attack on the right to freedom of expression and association. It is a reminder of the incredible obstacles faced by those who are striving to defend the human rights of the Egyptian people. Instead of arresting Egyptians who stand up for the human rights of others, the authorities must work with these activists and enable their work.”