Faculty joins protest against treatment of lawyers in Egypt
The Faculty and lawyers’ groups from around the globe have expressed solidarity with lawyers in Egypt as they increasingly face arrest and detention.
Dorothy Bain, QC, Convener of the Faculty’s Human Rights and Rule of Law Committee, is a signatory to a letter which has been sent to the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The letter expresses concern at “the recent increase in the number of arrests of lawyers who provide counsel and representation to human rights defenders.” It also condemns “the intimidation and harassment of lawyers who seek to promote and defend human rights.”
The President is called on to take immediate steps to end the arrests of lawyers, and to release those being held in violation of international human rights law. He is also urged to reaffirm and uphold Egypt’s commitment to the rule of law and human rights.
The letter was written by the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales, EuroMed Rights, and the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.
“The role of the lawyer is a crucial element of any functioning democracy. Lawyers serve an essential role in the protection of human rights and constitutional principles and in furthering the ends of justice and the public interest,” it is stated.
“It is a fundamental duty incumbent on the State to protect lawyers and to ensure that they are not prosecuted or threatened with prosecution or with other sanctions for the exercise of their professional duties. The State must also ensure that lawyers are able to perform their legal functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference.”
The letter is here