Doughty Street Chambers lodges UN complaint in case of detained Egyptian activist Amal Fathy

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”100566″ img_size=”full”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”74586″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”88957″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/3″][vc_single_image image=”100560″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_column_text]International human rights lawyers Doughty Street Chambers have lodged a complaint to the United Nations on behalf of Egyptian campaigner Amal Fathy, her husband and their son after the family was seized by police. 

Ms Fathy and her husband Mohamed Lotfy, co-founder of award-winning human rights group the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, were arrested by police in the early hours of May 11. Their Cairo apartment was raided by armed police, searched and Ms Fathy, Mr Lotfy and their two year-old son Zidane taken to a police station.

Mr Lotfy and Zidane were released several hours later but Ms Fathy remains in custody. The trigger for the arrests was said at the time to be a short 12-minute Facebook video posted by Ms Fathy in which she complained about having been sexually harassed at a bank and the difficulties of being a woman in Egypt. Ms Fathy has since been charged with membership of a terrorist organisation. 

“Unfortunately, the case of Mr Lotfy, his son, and Ms Fathy, are not isolated, nor in many ways surprising,” said Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, one of the lawyers acting for the family. “Over the past several years, many Egyptian human rights defenders, bloggers and journalists have been subjected to state harassment, disproportionate police and judicial treatment, and arbitrary curtailment of their most fundamental rights.”

Ms Fathy is a communications student and former activist and actress who is active on social media, especially Facebook, where she advocates and expresses her views on ongoing issues in Egypt especially on women’s rights.

Mr Lotfy leads the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, which coordinates campaigns for those who have been tortured or disappeared. Between August 2016 and August 2017, the ECRF documented 378 cases of enforced disappearance, many of them concerning students.

Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jonathan Price of Doughty Street Chambers have submitted their complaint on the treatment of Mr Lotfy and his son, and the continued detention of Ms Fathy, to the UN rapporteurs on freedom of expression and human rights defenders. The complaint has been lodged jointly with ECRF and freedom of expression organisation Index on Censorship, which in April awarded ECRF one of its Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowships.

“We have grave concerns given the inevitable lack of due process for Ms Fathy. We also have serious concerns for her wellbeing given the likelihood of prolonged detention, away from her young son, and for the wellbeing of Zidane himself, removed from his primary carer,” said Index on Censorship CEO Jodie Ginsberg.

Egypt has seen an escalation in violence against women and prominent women human rights defenders and activists are routinely harassed and silenced by the authorities. A 2017 poll named Cairo as the most dangerous major city for women.

The organisations have asked the rapporteurs to:

    1. gather, request, receive and exchange information and communications from the Egyptian Government in relation to this case;
    2. publicly make concrete recommendations to the Egyptian authorities on their duty to adhere to their international obligations; and
    3. issue an opinion finding that Egypt has failed to adhere to its own obligations, and violated the rights of the complainants, under international law.

For more information, please contact Joy Hyvarinen at Index on Censorship: [email protected]. [/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”97988″ img_size=”full” onclick=”custom_link” link=””][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]

Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms

ECRF is one of the few human rights organisations still operating in a country which has waged an orchestrated campaign against independent civil society groups. Find out more about the 2018 Freedom of Expression Awards Campaigning Fellow.

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BBC Newshour presenter and CEO of Serpentine Galleries to judge international freedom of expression awards


Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards and Fellowship 2018

Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship 2018

Index on Censorship is proud to announce that long-time BBC reporter Razia Iqbal and CEO of the world famous Serpentine Galleries Yana Peel will join a panel of judges to decide the 2018 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship winners.

The Freedom of Expression Awards, now in their 18th year, honour champions of free expression and those battling censorship around the world in the field of arts, campaigning, digital activism and journalism. Many have faced prosecution and punishment for their work.

Peel sits on advisory boards for the Tate, the British Fashion Council and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and is a young global leader of the World Economic Forum. Currently CEO of the Serpentine Galleries, she previously ran Intelligence Squared Group, a leading forum for live debate, and was a regular contributor to the Davos annual meeting and the DLD, particularly on topics at the intersection of technology and visual art.

Iqbal has been an arts correspondent for the BBC for over a decade and is one of the main presenters of Newshour, the flagship news and current affairs programme on BBC World Service radio, and regularly presents The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4.

Iqbal says “In my lifetime, there has never been a more critical time to fight for freedom of expression. Whether it is in countries where people are imprisoned or worse, killed, for saying things the state or others, don’t want to hear, it continues to be fought for and demanded. It is a privilege to be associated with the Index on Censorship judging panel.”

The judging panel will also include Raspberry Pi Ltd CEO Eben Upton, founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK-based charity that advances computer science education in schools, who was recently elected to the fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2017; and Tim Moloney QC, deputy head of Doughty Street Chambers and Band 1 of Crime Silks, classed as leading silk in the current Legal 500.

Announcing the judging panel, Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg said:“Freedom of expression is a right that our award winners and nominees work tirelessly to defend. The awards draw attention to the repression that they face every day and give us a chance to celebrate and support these inspiring journalists, activists, and artists.

“We’re excited to announce this year’s remarkable panel of judges, who are leaders and experts in their fields. The Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship recognise global free speech heroes and provide assistance so that their important work can continue.”

Previous winners of the Freedom of Expression Awards include Nobel Peace Prize winner Pakistani education campaigner Malala Yousafzai, Chinese political cartoonist Rebel Pepper and Yemeni street artist Murad Subay. Hundreds of public nominations are made for the awards each year. Many of those nominated are regularly targeted by authorities or by criminal and extremist groups for their work. Some face regular death threats, others criminal prosecution.

Previous judges include digital campaigner and entrepreneur Martha Lane Fox, Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Harry Potter actor Noma Dumezweni, novelist Elif Shafak, award-winning journalist and former editor-in-­chief of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker Tina Brown and human rights lawyer and shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer.

The Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship ceremony 2018 will be held on April 19 in London.

For Index on Censorship

Sean Gallagher, [email protected]

About the Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship

Winners of the 2018 Freedom of Expression Awards Fellowship receive 12 months of capacity building, coaching and strategic support. Through the fellowships, Index seeks to maximise the impact and sustainability of voices at the forefront of pushing back censorship worldwide. More information

About Index on Censorship

Index on Censorship is a London-based non-profit organisation that publishes work by censored writers and artists and campaigns against censorship worldwide. Since its founding in 1972, Index on Censorship has published some of the greatest names in literature in its award-winning quarterly magazine, including Samuel Beckett, Nadine Gordimer, Mario Vargas Llosa, Arthur Miller and Kurt Vonnegut. It also has published some of the world’s best campaigning writers from Vaclav Havel to Elif Shafak.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][staff name=”Razia Iqbal, Journalist” profile_image=”97201″]Razia Iqbal is a presenter for BBC News: she is one of the main presenters of Newshour, the flagship news and current affairs programme on BBC World Service radio. She also regularly presents The World Tonight on BBC Radio 4, a British weekday current affairs radio programme broadcast. Iqbal has hosted HARDtalk Extra, a BBC television and radio programme that conducts in depth one-on-one interviews with significant artists such as Pakistani pop star Haroon and prolific American writer, Joyce Carol Oates. She was the BBC’s arts correspondent for a decade, and has worked as a political reporter and a foreign correspondent in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Iqbal has also made several successful documentaries through the BBC and presented on a variety of programmes. She was born in Kampala, Uganda and came to London as a child. Iqbal graduated with a BA in American Studies from the University of East Anglia and was nominated in 2013 for the “Services to Media” award at the British Muslims Awards. [/staff][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][staff name=”Tim Moloney QC, Barrister” profile_image=”97202″]Tim Moloney QC is the deputy head of Doughty Street Chambers. His practice encompasses crime, extradition, international criminal law, international death penalty litigation, public law and media law. Moloney consistently acts in high profile litigation across the spectrum of his practice. He also advises high profile organisations on their exposure to involvement with acts of terrorism and is regularly involved in training of lawyers overseas in the law and practice relating to terrorism and the death penalty. He also regularly advises media organisations on issues they face relating to terrorism and disclosure. Following the completion of his Ph.D, Moloney was a lecturer in law before being called to the Bar in 1993. He became a QC in 2010. He continues to write and lecture extensively. He is the author of the sexual offences, terrorism and appeals sections of the leading reference work, Blackstone’s Criminal Practice, and is the author of the sentencing chapters in Rook and Ward on Sexual Offences. Moloney is also a member of the panel of experts for Halsbury’s Laws.[/staff][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/2″][staff name=”Yana Peel, Chief Executive” profile_image=”97203″]Yana Peel is CEO of the Serpentine Galleries, London, one of the most recognised organisations in the global contemporary art, design and architecture worlds. Prior to this she ran Intelligence Squared Group, the leading forum for live debate. Having co-founded Outset Contemporary Art Fund in 2003 as a hub for creative funding solutions for cultural projects, Peel maintains advisory positions across the arts that include: Tate, British Fashion Council, V-A-C Foundation Moscow, Lincoln Center and Asia Art Archive. At ParaSite Art Space and Intelligence Squared, she serves as board co-chair. Peel is a young global leader of the World Economic Forum and a regular contributor to the Davos annual meeting and DLD, particularly on topics at the intersection of technology and visual art. Her two children provide inspiration for her best-selling book series, Art for Baby, which benefits the National Society for the Protection against Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). Peel was born in St Petersburg, Russia, attended McGill University, completed her post-graduate studies in Economics at LSE, and started her career at Goldman Sachs.[/staff][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″][staff name=”Eben Upton CBE, Chief Executive” profile_image=”97204″]Eben Upton CBE is a founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation and serves as the CEO of Raspberry Pi Ltd, its commercial and engineering subsidiary. He is the co-author, with Gareth Halfacree of the Raspberry Pi User Guide, and with Jeff Duntemann and others of Learning Computer Architecture with Raspberry Pi. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2017. In an earlier life, he founded two successful mobile games and middleware companies, Ideaworks 3d and Podfun, held the post of director of studies for Computer Science at St John’s College, Cambridge, and wrote the Oxford Rhyming Dictionary with his father, Professor Clive Upton. He holds a BA in Physics and Engineering, a PhD in Computer Science, and an MBA, from the University of Cambridge.[/staff][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row full_width=”stretch_row_content” equal_height=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1515150485442{background-color: #cb3000 !important;}” el_class=”text_white”][vc_column width=”1/2″][vc_custom_heading text=”Support the Index Fellowship” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes” link=”|||”][vc_column_text]

By donating to the Freedom of Expression Awards you help us support individuals and groups at the forefront of tackling censorship.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/2″ css=”.vc_custom_1515150288338{background-image: url(×490-2.jpg?id=89631) !important;background-position: center !important;background-repeat: no-repeat !important;background-size: cover !important;}”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Don’t lose your voice. Stay informed.” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text]Index on Censorship is a nonprofit that campaigns for and defends free expression worldwide. We publish work by censored writers and artists, promote debate, and monitor threats to free speech. We believe that everyone should be free to express themselves without fear of harm or persecution – no matter what their views.

Join our mailing list (or follow us on Twitter or Facebook) and we’ll send you our weekly newsletter about our activities defending free speech. We won’t share your personal information with anyone outside Index.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][gravityform id=”20″ title=”false” description=”false” ajax=”false”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Lawyers: Daphne Caruana Galizia murder investigation in flagrant breach of ECHR requirements

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Daphne Caruana Galizia protest 1Doughty Street Chambers has surfaced concerns about the investigation being carried out by Maltese authorities into the death of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist, writer and anti-corruption activist murdered on 16 October when her car exploded.

In its urgent legal advice to the family of Galizia, Doughty Street Chambers, an international specialist law firm, raised issues around the independence of the investigation, which they said was in a “clear and serious breach of Article 2” of the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees an effective investigation.

Doughty Street barristers Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Jonathan Price said “we are of the firm view that Malta is in flagrant violation of the Article 2 investigative duty and thus in breach of its obligations under the ECHR”, and that “from the information available at this stage it appears highly likely to us that the Maltese authorities have also violated other human rights of Ms Caruana Galizia and the bereaved family, under Articles 2, 3, 8, 10 and/ or 13 ECHR (and indeed under other international human rights treaties and domestic law).”

A further requirement of Article 2 is that the investigation should safeguard the legitimate interests of the next of kin. However, Galizia’s family members have been learning of key developments through grossly inappropriate channels: Twitter accounts belonging to politicians and news headlines.

“The advice from leading legal experts confirms that Malta is in breach of its obligations under European law to investigate the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia thoroughly and fairly”, said Joy Hyvarinen, head of advocacy at Index on Censorship. “The advice raises extremely serious questions about the Maltese police, and Index believes that external, independent investigators must be appointed urgently.”

The lawyers called for swift action to be taken by the authorities in Malta to immediately remove the deputy commissioner from his role and to apologise to the family “for the failure to appropriately update and involve them in the investigation, and alter the way in which information is provided to them to comply with Article 2’s requirements.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_basic_grid post_type=”post” max_items=”12″ style=”load-more” items_per_page=”4″ element_width=”6″ grid_id=”vc_gid:1512749485797-9de444c0-8566-10″ taxonomies=”18781, 18782″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Russia’s freedom of expression

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”88437″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Doughty Street Chambers and Index on Censorship invite you to a breakfast talk on Tuesday 18 April with guest speakers Ildar Dadin and his wife Anastasia Zotova.

Dadin is a well known Russian opposition and LGBT rights activist, and is the only person to have been convicted under a 2014 law which seeks to crush protest.  For a series of one-man pickets, often silent, he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment notwithstanding that the prosecutor sought a shorter sentence, and that before the anti-protest law was enacted a sentence for such activity would have been limited to a fine or a suspended sentence. Dadin will speak about his time in Russian prison colonies, including the torture he and other prisoners suffered until he was unexpectedly released in February of this year.  He will also speak about the horrific news coming from Chechnya in recent days of state-sanctioned violence against gay men, and the difficulty in getting information on these abuses to the world because of Russia’s severe restrictions on press freedom and journalists.

Dadin will be speaking via video-link.  Despite the sudden and unexpected quashing of his conviction in February, he remains subject to a travel ban preventing him from leaving Russia.  Even though Article 27.2 of the Russian Constitution states “Everyone may freely leave the Russian Federation. Citizens of the Russian Federation shall have the right to freely return to the Russian Federation”, the number of Russian citizens prevented from leaving the country on the orders of the Kremlin is rising year on year.

The session, chaired by Russia expert and Doughty Street barrister Malcolm Hawkes, will conclude with a discussion of the action that lawyers and others can take to support Dadin and others in Russia who seek to promote free expression and a free press, and who need help to challenge travel bans, so that they can convey information to the world of State sponsored abuses of civil liberties and human rights.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

When: Tuesday 18 April, 8:30-9:30am
Where: Doughty Street Chambers, 53-54 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LS
Tickets: Free. RSVP to [email protected]

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