Punitive Pretrial Detention in Egypt
Ever since President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power in June 2013, Egyptian authorities have increasingly sought to punish dissidents who dare to criticize the government and publish views that differ from the regime’s chosen narrative.
In 2018, well over 100 people were arrested for exercising their right to freedom of expression, facing unfounded accusations and often languishing in prison for months or even years without being formally charged or given the chance to defend themselves at trial. Last year, Egyptian authorities claimed even greater powers to curb free expression by passing new legislation to tightly regulate media outlets, treat legitimate online expression as “cybercrime,” and arbitrarily block social media profiles with more than 5,000 followers.
The following briefing paper by Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights looks into the use of punitive pretrial detention in Egypt, particularly against journalists, and how it’s become a favored tool to intimidate and silence perceived opposition.