Egyptian activist Amal Fathy, who was arrested on 11 May after posting a video criticising sexual harassment in Egypt – of which she herself is a victim – to Facebook, will next appear in court on 15 July 2018 after her pre-trial detention of 15 days was extended for the fifth time.
Fathy, who is detained at Al Qanater prison north of Cairo, stands accused of “belonging to a banned group”, “using a website to promote ideas calling for terrorist acts” and “intentionally disseminating false news that could harm public security and interest”.
When Fathy arrived at the Prosecution Office on 4 July, she showed symptoms of acute stress and was unable to walk on her own having lost sensation in her left leg. She was unable to walk normally unassisted. Fathy has a history of chronic depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety, conditions that have only worsened during her detention.
Fathy, along with her husband, Mohamed Lotfy, director of the Index award-winning NGO Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, and their son, were taken into custody during an early morning raid on their home soon after she posted the 12-minute video on 9 May about her experience with sexual harassment and the difficulties of being a woman in Egypt. As an activist, Fathy has also been vocal about human rights violations in Egypt, especially the arbitrary detention of other activists. Lotfy and their son – who Fathy was the primary carer of before her arrest – were later released.
“We stand in solidarity with the members of ECRF, call for the immediate release of Amal and demand that all charges against her be dropped,” Perla Hinojosa, fellowships and advocacy officer at Index on Censorship, said. “Index invites our readers to join two existing campaigns for her release, one by Amnesty International addressing the Egyptian president and minister of foreign affairs, and the other by Amal’s husband Mohamed calling for action from the European Parliament.”